I once worked as a florist in a seaside flower shop in a small fishing community in Alaska. As you might imagine, working with fresh flowers all day was an exceptional delight, especially when the rain clouds hid the sun for most of the summer and darkness shortened the daylight in deepest of winter. Every day that I went to work, beauty was there. I got to see it, feel it, smell it, create with it.
Then I got to give it away.
I remember delivering a vanload of wedding flowers I had designed to the Danny J, moored in the harbor, soon to depart for the nuptials across the bay. I remember my shock at the door of a woman's house when she opened it to reveal her severely bruised and lacerated face and body, and how she told me of her miraculous survival of a car accident. I got to hand her flowers. I remember the reverent quiet in a church santuary as I placed flowers at the altar in memory of someone's loved one, recently passed. I remember the restaurant owner who came in every week to choose from our petalled bounty for her white-clothed tables. She called it her flower fetish. I remember the wild flowers for new mamas, and the red roses from fishermen to their loves.
When a new director moved to town to take the helm at the local museum, I wasn't expecting to know her right away. But there she was, right off, introducing herself as she selected a few stems of our stunning, multi-petaled Equadorian roses - a habit that I soon found would bring her in every week thereafter. I've never forgotten why.
She told me how she'd recently finished a gruelling PhD at a university in California, and that, around the corner from her apartment there, in her walking route to campus, was a small flower shop with open doors and buckets of flowers overflowing onto the sidewalk. Even on a student's meger income, she decided, upon that fortuitous discovery, that rather than coffee or chocolate or some other something that might be chosen to help get her through long hours of lectures and late nights of study, she would choose flowers. Roses in particular. Not many, not even a whole bouquet. Just one or maybe two, once a week.
She chose the power of beauty and made it a habit.
I look back over the blog posts in recent weeks, and I see a parade of flowers. Suddenly I realize this hasn't been entirely by accident.
Wishing you a lovely Monday friends! Things will be quiet this week on the blog as we mark off the last days to graduation and the holiday weekend. I'll see you back here on Wednesday, May 31.