Lotus Flowers are synonymous with Buddhism and are one of the major symbols and offerings within Buddhism.
"The roots of a lotus are in the mud, the stem grows up through the water, and the heavily scented flower lies above the water, basking in the sunlight. This pattern of growth signifies the progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment. Though there are other water plants that bloom above the water, it is only the lotus which, owing to the strength of its stem, regularly rises eight to twelve inches above the surface. Thus says the Lalitavistara, 'the spirit of the best of men is spotless, like the lotus in the muddy water which does not adhere to it.' According to another scholar, 'in esoteric Buddhism, the heart of the beings is like an unopened lotus: when the virtues of the Buddha develop therein, the lotus blossoms; that is why the Buddha sits on a lotus bloom."
We've taken many photos of lotus flowers in Laos over the years and there is a magnetic appeal that is hard to resist and really, they are incredibly beautiful when they're in full bloom. But what happens when the flower is spent, has given its all to share it's beauty (enlightenment) with the world? Is the magic gone, shall we forget them and move on to the next intoxicating flower in bloom? Or is there something left, something we should contemplate and meditate on, maybe coming to the realization that
3:1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted