Before & After

I took the first picture yesterday,
when I noticed the buds
on a crabtree in our front yard
were on the verge of blooming.

I could practically feel their excitement,
their potential stirring inside.
I thought if I watched them long enough,
they might just bust right open!
They’d been hiding for a while,
holding back
while the trees around them flourished.
But there was no denying it:
it was now their time to shine.

By this afternoon,
many of those buds had burst wide open
to become beautiful pink petals
with a glowing golden center.
Why had they waited so long,
I wondered,
when they could have been
contributing so much beauty
to the world around them?

And then it struck me:
we have all been those little buds,
afraid to shine,
doubtful of our potential.
But if each of us
allowed ourselves to fully bloom,
just think of what we could accomplish.
Just think of the beauty
we’d all create.