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  • Writer's picturePaul Cotter

The Flower in the Cold

close-up macro photo of partly withered pink Camellia flower

Two weeks ago, on a cold January day in Charlotte, our granddaughter Lily spotted a colorful surprise. As we walked down our front steps, she shouted “Look! A flower!” And there it was: a lone pink Camellia flower, blossoming in defiance of the cold.


At times like these, I’m awed by both the fragility and the dogged persistence of life.


We see it in the simplest single-celled organism. We see it in a tiny newborn baby nestled in the neonatal ICU, clinging to life against the odds. The urge to live is embedded deep within us, like the seeds of a flower embedded in the soil.


This Camellia flower was already beginning to wither when I photographed it, but other buds soon blossomed in its place flourishing in spite of the frigid temperatures that have gripped our region this month. I consider them beautiful symbols of life’s tenuous, tenacious journey.




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