Thoughts on Flowers
With a quick snip of the scissors and a fast, light-blue bicycle, my 8-year-old self would gracefully make off with a few of my neighbor’s precious flowers. I would bring them back to our home where a brick fireplace jutted out from the side. With a rock and the brick as my mortar and pestle, I would grind the petals to create a “floral-inspired perfume”.
Another time, I took some peonies from my mother’s garden, wrapped the stems and foil, and carried them onto to the school bus, presumably to give to a favorite teacher. Not knowing the ants often spend their time in peony petals, I was soon faced with tons of ants scurrying on my legs and the bus seat.
Despite my early habit of ‘borrowing’ flowers that weren’t mine, I never learned to properly delight in flowers until now. There were always much grander things in life to worry about.
But as we are planning our wedding, I am reminded of how many little and delicate ways that flowers are woven into my life. Not merely as something beautiful to admire, but as something that now connects me to times long past.
I can still imagine the mass of wildflowers that sprung in my mother's garden, bees constantly buzzing above the entanglement of petals and unique fragrances, feeling alive and drunk on pollen. Her light pink and white peonies that would sprout up on the side of our house, not far from my makeshift mortar and pestle, their heavy heads nodding in the afternoon heat.
For a few short months, they would grace our home, reminding us that like many things, flowers are transient. They dutifully sprout in the spring, patiently waiting for us to notice them until the cold winter comes again to take them away.
I've decided that my wedding bouquet will have peonies as its core, a tribute to my mother, who for so long was my core. They will be surrounded by wildflowers, a reminder to always go to the places that make us feel alive.