Today we had an amazing first round performance at the the Ave Verum International Choral Competition! This is a great feeling!
Perhaps an even better feeling is the one that comes with watching the other choirs give so much of themselves to the audience during this competition, which we experienced during our free time.
I also spent some of my free time walking around the Rosarium around our hotel. It is a famously beautiful garden filled with over 180 different types of roses. As I walked in silence, I thought about how there are very few entities as perfect and inspiring as the flower.
Flowers offer up their beauty completely and willingly even though sometimes it seems that there is no one to appreciate them. What is important is that they continue to bloom and grow and give their beauty to the world. It does not matter to them whether they are only a small flower in a field of millions of flowers, virtually unnoticeable, forgotten and suffocated. Nor would it matter to them to be alone growing through the crack of a sidewalk, practically starving and without any help or company of another flower. They are no less beautiful, and still their purpose would be to give and give, wanting nothing in return.
If I were a flower, I think I would be a Dandelion. They are bright flowers that turn their petals into shareable seeds. They are small, unconventionally but extraordinarily beautiful, very eager to give away the petals that they have for the purpose of helping people realize dreams, and very fragile and easily destructible. If for the rest of my life I was a dandelion, letting small seeds fly away one at a time, I would end as a small hollow stem and an empty round seed head, but my seeds would be planted and growing in many other bright flowers, and I myself would be no less beautiful.
The choirs that sang today each shared their beauty with the world. They have grown from this experience, and have influenced the audience in a way that will help them to grow as well.
Olivia S. Greene