“How is it that you came to love flowers so intensely?”
That question is posed of a character in the book Clara and Mr. Tiffany which I am currently listening to on Audible. I stopped listening to the book the moment that line was read because I had already jumped into the rabbit hole of asking myself the very same question.
When did my intense love for flowers begin?
I feel like I popped out of the womb loving them – and their beloved loyal friends, butterflies. My school memories are strung together like garlands with vivid images of the flowers given and received.
I dove into the trail of flower memories looking for the earliest ones. Soon I was a fly on the wall of my childhood kitchen watching myself around age 5 climbing up onto a counter to reach a brandy snifter from the cabinet.
I was on a mission. I was going to make perfume. Oddly, not with flowers but almost wishing to create flowers out of fruits as I had decided that putting orange rinds in the snifter with water would yield perfume. I added what I deemed were the ingredients for the perfect recipe for parfum d’orange and set it on my dresser to percolate.
Every day I checked in on it. For a few days it was coming along nicely, steeping in orangeness. I was certain I would be able to unveil my secret chemistry experiment to parental cheers and accolades. Soon though, of course, it started to go bad as any rind and water mixture would, and I had to share my secret experiment’s failure. I was bereft, but committed to succeeding one day.
I don’t remember beyond that, but I am certain that my passion for Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom perfume was born that day. Malone and I are roughly the same age, so I like to think that she was running the same childhood chemistry experiment in London.
I next tried making gardenia perfume but that, too, failed. I have always sucked at chemistry. I stopped trying to trap luscious aromas in a brandy snifter and instead started giving flowers. That turned out to be way more fun.
I was blessed to have friends who loved receiving them as much as they loved reciprocating with beautiful bouquets of their own. My high school boyfriend would fill my locker with baby’s breath so that when I opened it the shower of snowy blooms would envelop me. What joy!
When I moved to New York I was delighted by corner bodegas.
What? I can just grab a bouquet of daisies for a few dollars and instantly brighten up my teeny tiny studio in a matter of seconds?
I couldn’t believe my lucky stars that I lived in a city where inexpensive flowers were never more than a few blocks away. And so it began that I always wanted flowers in my home.
In these quarantine days, my addiction to flowers has ticked up a few notches. In my bedroom alone right now, I have five arrangements. Five.
My danger-filled runs to Trader Joe’s are largely for a basket full of flowers. It takes me an hour to create all the arrangements. Currently I have eighteen arrangements in the house. Eighteen. You see my problem.
And yet I won’t be going to Flower Addicts Anonymous anytime soon because I also know who they are these mighty flowers:
Entertainment – I look at them more than I look at anything else in the house. And, when I’m looking at something else, they are always within my view, filling my heart with joy.
Dose of Nature– I am bringing the outside world into my home. For my head and heart right now, this is medicinal.
Heart Healing — My spiritual teacher, Master John Douglas, once spoke about the healing power of flowers, how they can raise our consciousness. Even paintings of flowers can positively affect our hearts and souls.
Happiness – Flowers were born to make us happy. Is there any flower that doesn’t appear to be on an express mission to make you happier?
Flowers are on the front lines of my quarantine healing. They have always been, and will always be, regular contributor to my happiness quotient.
They are born to heal.
They are born to love.
They are born to inspire love.
They are born to express love.
I am happier because of my intense love of flowers, and I am happy for my current quarantine addiction. They fill me up, so I am more able to love and be loved, and their bright shining faces inspire me to love even more.