When I was a much younger woman I thought being passionate about flowers was an old lady gig. I’d seen too many windowsills in the homes of old people that were lined with pots of struggling African violets and dusty geraniums. The rims of the containers were often crusted with residue and dried dirt and the atmosphere reeked of moth balls and outdated opinions. Well, guess what? I am now an old lady who loves flowers.
What's that, you say? How did it happen that a hip young gal who made sure her hair, clothes and attitudes were current, ever become that thing she once derided? It was a slow progression my friends, and it began with one of these.
My friend Carol used to “walk the yard” with me in tow. This was when we were both young mothers and she would waltz me around her yard while the kids were all quiet and conniving in the family room.
“I planted these a month ago,” she’d say, pointing to some marigolds. Then we’d be on to the phlox or roses or whatever else had taken her fancy that year. Her descriptions and enthusiasm made me look a little harder at flowers. And, for a while, we were completely able to ignore what might be going on in the family room.
Or it may have been the altar flowers. Designed by floral artists and offsetting with color the candles in their brass holders, the living flowers and dancing light testifying to the beauty in God’s world. Serving on the guild allows me to get up close and personal with glistening petal and shining leaf. Then I see the delight on someone’s face when the lovely bouquets are presented after the service. A flowery reminder of our hour in the pew.
And then there’s the artists. The ones like Georgia O’Keefe who painted flowers in such a way that they seem the most stunning of creations. Go look at her renderings of poppies or morning glories – simply breathtaking. Or how about the geniuses who created greeting cards and postcards back in the day. You know, the ones that we now designate “vintage”? I look for them on Pinterest all the time. The artist’s brush gives an element of delicate whimsy to flowers and plants and somehow I’m comforted by that.
I suppose anything we come to examine closely begins to make inroads on our souls whether for good or ill. The good for me are these little gardens that brighten our yard this year. Planted them both with my little old lady hands. You know, those stalwart gals of the African Violet League were onto something. I’m glad I lived long enough to fashion a part of my life after theirs.
You live, you grow.