My first Spring and Summer of photography ended up centering on flowers. But in the Fall that began to bleach away as the flowers shriveled and disappeared, all their lovely work done.
Where I live in the Twin Cities we have been trickling deeper and deeper into Winter for more than a month. Those flowers have been disappearing for longer than that. Almost everything is dead now, in that classified way the lives have here, where they hold a tiny kernel of life unseen, but beating secretly, in their hearts.
So each time I find some faded flower and take its picture I have lately thought:
This is it. This is the last flower of the year.
But I didn't want to let go. Because I love the flowers.
The birds let go.
The butterflies let go.
The bees let go.
I'm the only one left.
The birds are in the trees.
The butterflies are in Mexico.
And the bees are dreaming the long, inscrutable dreams of bees.
I'm here. But I think it's time.
The only thing to do is to accept the change that cannot be held back.
So here you are then, the last flowers of the year: