I've decided that peonies are the best Buddhist teachers. They open in spectacular blooms and then, just as I am getting so attached to them, they start to fade, reminding me that however much I want things to remain as they are — everything changes.
Thunderstorms were threatened for today, so I went out and cut the most vulnerable of the blooms, and brought them inside to protect for another day or two. But even that effort is futile — as I write this, peony petals are falling onto my desk. They're lovely, though, even in their blithe impermanence.