On a shiny summer day, I bought three small flowers planted in pots as I started a new relationship with a girl. The first plant was called green Sedum which was the most favorite of mine among them. It was a bundle of tiny flowers, its green color was especially pretty under the sunshine. The second one was called Red Star, which was assumedly named by the flower seller. As the name shows, It was literally star-shaped red flower. It was also pretty enough to steal my mind. The last one was called Nematanthus, in short, Nematan. It looked like a tiny tree rather than a flower since it seemed to have leaves and branches, so it looked like a very ordinary plant having no special charm.

My girlfriend and I took good care of them. We repotted them in the new pots which were a little bigger and much prettier since their original pots were temporary pots made of plastic. And needless to say, I gave them water regularly once a week placing them in the window box so that they could get full of sunlight. By the time winter came along, I put them inside of my house not to get frozen. When my girlfriend and I had a date, we would talk about our plants. We kept looking after them hoping that as the plants grew up well, our love was also deeper and deeper. Over the next few months, they gradually grew thickly. Meanwhile, she and I were having fun making good memories.

One day in the middle of deep winter, about the time that I got used to taking care of the plants and her, Sedum was loosing its fresh green color. And before long, it died. I had brought it in my house and took care of it, but I couldn’t control the lack of light. It was too weak to endure the harsh winter weather. What’s more, by the end of winter, Red Star was also dead. In a short time, my shiny flowers had gone. There were no more plants but the Nematan, which didn’t get much of my attention.

The long winter had gone, and spring came along. I was watering Nematan as usual, but without affection. I would even forget to water it sometimes, it seemed like missing watering once or twice didn’t really matter for this plant. It wasn’t weak like the other flowers that already died.

Then one day, I found a few buds on its branches I hadn’t seen before. And day by day, its color turned from green into orange. In the end, it opened its one end showing an orange flower. Although It wasn’t really big or fancy, it was impressive because I hadn’t ever expected that this plant would bloom. So it was like a sudden present for me. When I didn’t care of the plant, it showed me its best beauty.

That meant a lot to me. By that time, the relationship between me and my girlfriend was getting tired. But then the flower bloomed, and it was telling me that — don’t be distracted by the appearance, focus on the inner beauty.

The last flower, Nematan, had ugly thick leaves but it was for storing water inside. And it was the strongest flower among them, which has survived longer than any others. And now, it has been over two years since then, it is still healthy and getting bigger and bigger showing me the power of inner beauty.

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