Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Power of Flowers

For as long as I can remember from my childhood my mom loved flowers. In fact, yesterday she sent me an email with the subject line "Sun and flowers - two of my favorite things!" Well, the sun is not shining in Seattle today, so I bought myself flowers for a little pick-me-up. It is so simple, but flowers truly have all kinds of power – the power to lift my spirits, to heal, to show gratitude, to connect generations, to brighten dark, cold winter days.

Growing up, every time we went to the grocery store my mom bought flowers. And she drug us to the garden store often. I didn't get it until I had my own home and suddenly I fell in love with flowers in my home and in my garden.  I almost always have them on my kitchen counter. Today I bought pure white gerberas ~ to me a symbol of renewal, which I always feel and relish this time of year. They immediately lifted my spirits.

But having them in my bedroom or bathroom is even better ~ it's simple decadence. A couple of weeks ago, Sofia and I went grocery shopping, a rather mundane task that I usually dread, especially with an independent three-year-old who refuses to ride in the cart. But that day was different. The first thing she did was ask to pick out flowers for her bedroom. When she was a baby I would sometimes have fresh flowers in her room, but this request came out of the blue. I, of course, indulged her and she picked out hot pink (her favorite color) gerberas. I love, love, love having flowers in my room, too, so it made my day that she wanted them for her room. That same day, Sofia asked “Do you love flowers mama? How much? Very very much? I like flowers super much!” She’s asked for flowers in her room every week since. Today she picked out red tulips. Pretty good for a girl who loves everything pink! Aah, the simple power of flowers to brighten your day!

In addition to – or because of - their beauty, flowers have the power to heal ~  if not physically, at least emotionally. Recently I learned about an amazing gesture of flowers that a terminally ill relative of ours is receiving.  Her 94-year-old father-in-law arranged to have flowers delivered to her every week because he thought it would make her happy. Just knowing about this gesture makes me happy and hopeful for her. They probably won’t save her life, but they will brighten her days.  (The peonies in the photo above gave me comfort when I was on bedrest before I had Sofia.)

My sister is an uber creative florist in Portland. She is an artist and flowers are her medium. I am in awe of her creations and her amazing natural talents. She is passionate about her work and is in high demand for weddings, private parties and other special events. She sent me the above arrangement the day she found out I was going on bedrest when I was pregnant with Sofia. I proudly displayed them on my bathroom counter. Maybe Sofia will grow up to be a talented florist like my sister. At least I know she will love beautiful flowers like me, my sister and her grandma!  As I said, flowers have the power to connect generations.

What power do flowers have for you?

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