The sturdy stalks seek the sun as leaves like spread hands spiral up the stalk spine. The creamy white five petaled flowers emerge from leaf stems. They are only in full bloom a day or so. Then the okra pods begin to develop. As okra lengthens, they gently twist the flowers closed. Eventually flowers wilt into tiny caps at the end of pods before falling off.
I took a picture of an okra flower for this post yesterday. Today I realized it didn't do the plant justice and when I went to take another photo it was too late; the flower had already become a cap. What is the point of such a flower with its silky slightly ridged petals, vibrant maroon interior, such luscious detailing? What's the point of such artful ripening, particularly when it is so fleeting?
Okra are self-pollinating, which is to say, they perpetuate themselves through beauty. What's more, their fluttering petals and lush interior draw pollinators eager to cross pollinate, thereby spreading beauty. Okra thrive through beauty. Would that we could understand we do too.