It’s All About Flowers
From bright blue, the sky turns to muddy gray. The whirling clouds snuff out the earlier light and the street stands in the shadows of the oncoming thunderstorm. The wind whips into a frenzy, the continuous blinking of lightning puts me on alert and the low rumble of thunder pounds its way overhead. And then, the rain lets down, bouncing off of decks and blacktop and windows. It’s the first thunderstorm of the season.
Earlier in the day, I kneeled on the ground with my fingers in the dirt, pulling weeds, digging holes, sowing seeds and starts. It’s my message of hope to myself. I put these small seeds in the soil and watch as they crack through the earth, determined to poke up and out to the light. And it reminds me again and again of my human experience. I am strong and sturdy and I will find a way through to the other side. Now that the thunderstorm has come and gone, the moisture left behind will help the seeds to grow. And all around me, trees are blooming and leafing, slowly coming into their spring finery.
It is the beginning of the season of flowers. In Genval, Belgium, where I lived for the second part of my childhood, we had tulips in the back and a rose garden in the front of our house. The modern brick house with its long, narrow glass block window stood back from the street. A knee high brick wall separated the sidewalk from the yard and often, people would sit down on it. The rose garden lay right behind it. It had enough roses for our table and for the random passerby who picked them. In the spring, we could already tell how well it would do from the buds gathering on the stems. And when the garden bloomed, it cast a tender pink across the front. My mother always made sure we had a rose on our dining room table. I remember being sent out to pick the roses, and learning soon enough to stay away from the thorns.
I believe in the power of flowers and in their beauty. Lately, I get my fix from Flowers by Phoebe. Phoebe knows how to arrange and mix flowers to bring out their best. Her arrangements remind me of my mother’s table, where the tulips made way to lilacs and lily of the valley then irises and gladioli and roses. My mother would make her bouquets last forever, by carefully trimming them and refreshing the water, and rearranging as one by one the stems faded.
As Mother’s Day approaches and May Day recedes, it is all about flowers. And thanks to the rain that came with the thunderstorm, we will have blooms multiplying.
I hope you find some flowers to share with those around you, and spread the beauty far and wide.