I remember when I didn’t care much for flowers. “Why give flowers as a gift? That’s the dumbest gift in the history of gifting! They die and you’re left with nothing but a memory.” Then, I birthed a daughter. The kind of daughter who when she was three years old would sit beside the flower bed just to look at the tulips and marvel at them. “Mommy, look at how this petal’s pink is different from that petal’s pink! Look at how that one curves!” Did you know that tulips are not all the same? Each flower is unique. God used that little girl to awaken in me an appreciation for the beauty He created. She still helps me to stop to perceive what I see.
Each spring our anticipation builds as we begin to see new growth following a season of cold, brown, hard earth. It is God’s annual reminder to me that though the ground appears lifeless and cold, He is doing a new thing. My eyes cannot see what activity goes on in the depths of the soil. Eventually the air changes, the colors of the grasses and trees change, and the ground brings forth freshly painted flowers–beautiful fruit born from His hidden work.
Each year we have new roses, lilies 3 feet tall, phlox, gardenias, morning glories, petunias, begonias, azaleas, and some wild flowers. I am not really a cutter. I enjoy seeing them outside, splashes of color all over the yard. Sometimes I cut off some gardenia because I love to fill the house with its fragrance, but for the most part I leave them on their stems. This reminds me of an Emerson poem that I like. I thought sharing it for this carnival theme appropriate.
In May, when sea-winds pierced our solitudes,
I found the fresh Rhodora in the woods,
Spreading its leafless blooms in a damp nook,
To please the desert and the sluggish brook.
The purple petals, fallen in the pool,
Made the black water with their beauty gay;
Here might the red-bird come his plumes to cool,
And court the flower that cheapens his array.
Rhodora! if the sages ask thee why
This charm is wasted on the earth and sky,
Tell them, dear, that if eyes were made for seeing,
Then Beauty is its own excuse for being:
Why thou wert there, O rival of the rose!
I never thought to ask, I never knew:
But, in my simple ignorance, suppose
The self-same Power that brought me there brought you.
These bloomed in our garden last week. Aren’t they gorgeous with the morning sun behind them?!