This is a meditation for Thursday in the third week of Lent, by Fr. Ron Rolheiser:
"No one can truly bless another without dying. That's what makes a blessing so powerful. Nature prescribes that. Imagine a flower: As a seedling and budding young flower it is essentially selfish, consumed with its own growth. That remains true until it reaches the stage just past its bloom. At that point, it begins to die and in that movement it gives off its seed and is then consumed with giving itself away.
There are myriad lessons in that about mature love, mature sexuality, and mature growth. In the movement from seedling to young plant to bloom to giving off seed in death, we see nature's paradigm for maturity and generativity. In a flower, when full maturity is reached, life becomes consumed in giving itself away at the cost of its own death.
You see this in blessing adults - good mothers, fathers, teachers, clergy, mentors, uncles, aunts, and friends of all kinds. These, the generative adults, do not look like Peter Pan or Tinkerbell (who look like children), nor do they look like movie stars or professional athletes. No. Blessing adults, of both genders, are recognized by their stretch marks, their scars, their physical waning, and by the very fact that they are dying. They are not obsessed with preserving their bloom.
That is nature's lesson. Generativity depends upon a willingness to die and to let go of our seed so that the other can bloom."
- from Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter Week