Finding Beauty In Death And Life

09-04 Century Plant Blooms

Century in prime,

Blooms stalk, stretch, reach for the clouds.

Stand tall- end is near.

09-04 Dead Trees

Stark contrast to life,

Leafless, naked, dry branches.

Decompose- feed earth.

09-04 Acorns

Healthy ground grows roots,

Nourish seeds, sow souls, future.

New generation.


The first two photos were taken near Fossil Creek (AZ).  Century plants bloom once and then the plant dies.  I love seeing the huge flowering stalk, because it looks neat, but am sad because I know the plant will die.  As I looked through my photos, I had the thought that each day we live, we are closer to death.  That’s the way life is…but wouldn’t it be sad if we lived and died and never had the chance to make life prettier?

The last photo, I took in my yard.  We have several oak trees bursting with clusters of acorns.  (I no longer wonder why I see so many squirrels scurrying in our yard :))  I thought it fit here as a reminder that while life is dying, it’s also renewing itself.

Anyone else have The Lion King song in their heads now?

You’re welcome!  Have a wonderful Wednesday.

23 thoughts on “Finding Beauty In Death And Life

  1. Carl D'Agostino September 4, 2013 / 5:21 AM

    “…while life is dying, it’s also renewing itself.”

    My daughter was born 4 hours after my mother’s mother died

    • jannatwrites September 4, 2013 / 10:00 PM

      Touching example of how the circles of life and death run, Carl. Thanks for reading- and relating

  2. pattyabr September 4, 2013 / 5:46 AM

    nice pics and reflection of the season 🙂

  3. yarnspinnerr September 4, 2013 / 5:53 AM

    Just a thought …… death is a much later phenomenon than life. The vegetable matter never dies. Only parts of it are renewed.

    Lovely blog.

    • jannatwrites September 4, 2013 / 10:02 PM

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts, Yarnspinnerr. I appreciate you stopping by!

  4. vishalbheeroo September 4, 2013 / 9:03 AM

    Jannat, pics and poem is in synch n love the way how u made the pictures speak profound words:)

    • jannatwrites September 4, 2013 / 10:02 PM

      Thanks for reading my weekly attempt to bring photos and words together, Vishal!

  5. nrhatch September 4, 2013 / 9:08 AM

    Yes . . . The Circle of Life is playing in my head.

    • jannatwrites September 4, 2013 / 10:03 PM

      I hope it has subsided by now, Nancy 🙂

  6. philosophermouseofthehedge September 4, 2013 / 5:09 PM

    Three in a row – like a family that blooms together. Wait. That’s a bit sad.
    A family that blooms together, stands tall together, spreads delight together, then retires from the stage together.
    They look like dancers. Can’t image they sorrow when they freely give such beauty?

    • jannatwrites September 4, 2013 / 10:06 PM

      I like your take on the photo, Phil. I prefer to focus on their beauty in the moment rather than their future demise.

      • philosophermouseofthehedge September 5, 2013 / 7:26 AM

        Beautiful things that have brief lives must exist on a different time line – or have a different purpose to so joyously and brilliant blaze into glory without a care? Our existence is slow motion to them?
        (silly human – can’t just take gifts as given. Must keep poking for more…)

        • jannatwrites September 5, 2013 / 9:22 PM

          I’m with you on this, Phil. I try to figure out explanations and reasons. Maybe nature’s ways are meant to be beauty we’re thankful to behold, even if we never understand the whats and whys 🙂

  7. Debbie September 5, 2013 / 1:32 PM

    Sad about the century plants. You’re lucky you got to see them in their prime, though. As for the acorns, well, if you ever need a dog to chase your squirrels, call me. Dallas is more than ready to play chase — and “fetch,” if he gets lucky, ha!

    • jannatwrites September 5, 2013 / 9:25 PM

      The stalks seem to stay for a while and there are so many of them, I see them pretty frequently. This cluster I liked mostly because of the backdrop of sky and Mogollon Rim. Our Golden Retriever, Sally, loves to chase squirrels. One time she saw one in a cluster of trees, so now every time she goes outside, she high-tails it to that area. It’s funny only because the squirrels are faster than she is 🙂

  8. GodGirl September 6, 2013 / 5:09 AM

    Cool to think of how even the dead and dying bring life. There is purpose in each generation/ part of the cycle of life… Great pictures, and reflection.

  9. pattisj September 6, 2013 / 9:19 PM

    So that’s what a Century plant looks like, after the fact, anyway. I’ve heard of them, thanks for showing it. So you have your own squirrels now!

    • jannatwrites September 7, 2013 / 12:35 AM

      There might be different types of century plants. Around here, they are also known as agave, and there are bunches if them. Thanks for reading, Patti!

  10. Eric Alagan September 7, 2013 / 8:41 PM

    Marvellous – you captured the cycle of life 🙂

    • jannatwrites September 7, 2013 / 10:28 PM

      I’m glad you stopped by to read it, Eric!

  11. Robin Leigh Morgan July 4, 2014 / 7:09 PM

    There’s always a dichotomy of beauty regarding life and death in nature, I like all three of the Haikus you’ve written here. There are several varieties of oak trees which produce different size acorns; the larger ones, like the ones in your picture can be hallowed out and made into a whistle. In my response to your prompt for this week I decided to take a humanistic approach to it.

    Beauty in Death

    Life takes toil on face
    Funeral Beautician works
    Beauty gets returned

    • jannatwrites July 5, 2014 / 12:58 AM

      Funerals are uncomfortable to me, partly because of the open casket. Yes, they do a good job of making them look less dead but that’s what makes it weird :-D. I’m glad you were inspired to write your own haiku, Robin!

Got an opinion? Share it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s