Perfection

SG Séguret
2 min readApr 24, 2023

April Ambles: Reflections of a Philosophical Forager — Day 23

Photo © SG Séguret

What is perfect? In this world of imperfection it is hard to conceive of how we might ever meet that mark.

The idea of perfection has been drilled into us since childhood. We strive for perfect grades, for perfect attendance, for the perfect hair style, for the perfect wardrobe, for the perfect set of friends, the perfect prom dress, the perfect job, the perfect mate, the perfect style of parenting, the perfect social circle, the perfect figure, and on and on.

What if perfect is right where we are right now? What if nobody cares if we’re perfect? What if they prefer that we be flawed in some way so that they will not feel so imperfect themselves? What if we started the imperfection club and it grew so large that perfection might be entirely forgotten?

We humans might be deliciously imperfect, but there are moments in nature that catch us off guard in their stunning perfection, and for that moment, we can believe once again.

Take the mayapple flower. It is here for a brief moment in the woods at the right altitude, on a plant of a certain age. One must know where to look, for it is hidden by its umbrella leaf. If you are lucky enough to pass by again at the right moment, you might find the fruit itself at just the peak of ripeness, and you might turn it into jelly and savor the woods with your breakfast.

Or you might go your entire life without ever noticing the flower or the fruit. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder. And if the beholder is awake enough the eye is perfect. It is that simple.

For more amblings from the author, check out Child of the Woods: An Appalachian Odyssey.

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SG Séguret

Susi Gott Séguret, fiddler, dancer, photographer, chef, is author of multiple works, including Appalachian Appetite, Child of the Woods & Cooking with Truffles.