By trade I am a forager of flowers. I scavenge, buy, and grow them so I can fashion them into designs. Sometimes I feel as though I breathe, sleep, and live amidst flowers. I have grown right along side them in a metaphysical garden of sorts, and I feel as though my budding days are past and I have finally opened.
The first time a flower spoke to me was after a pregnancy sonogram. I had eagerly awaited the sight of my first baby, and held my breath as the screen fuzzed grey and black. Then I saw it. The black spot where my baby was supposed to be. The technician furrowed her brow and tilted her head. I knew something was wrong.
“Can you hear the heartbeat?” I asked.
There was no heartbeat. No heart at all. But for the lack of one on that screen, my own burst and filled my chest with so much pain. I have never known sorrow like I did with that very first miscarriage. It was as if I was being pummeled by waves as I drowned, and I only wished I could sink down into it. But I could not. I floated near the surface and kept taking agonizing breaths.
I was sitting in my living room, the lights off, feeling numb. I felt like a tomb. My baby had died inside of me. I was a grave. I could not make things grow. I looked up at my anthurium on the sill, its dry leaves curling at the edges. I couldn’t even keep a plant alive.
But there was something there. Something red poked up from the foliage. I got up. (Nothing had been able to get me up for days). I shuffled over to my dead plant, and there in the center was a bright red heart. A glimmer of hope snuck through my numbness. Ever so slowly I would feel my heart again.
Flowers bring us close to the infinite. Year after year they come back to life, cyclical and ever constant. Whether you believe in a Creator or Mother Earth or Science I still believe this rings true. Flowers are offerings. Filled with nectar, blushing their colors, and collecting light. They woo and charm and comfort.
I ended up having four miscarriages, one far enough along to bury. I planted forget-me-nots on its grave, and every year when those little blue beauties pop up they help me remember. A dear friend left a bouquet of flowers on my doorstep during that time of barrenness, and I still cherish her as the one who cared. And when one of my three little boys picks a flower and brings it to me, his big cheeks bursting with excitement at what he’d found for me, I feel my heart again.
Flowers help us see beauty in a world that can often be bleak and dark. To find heart in surprising places. I want to show the world what flowers can do: They can make us all denizens of light.