By Bridget Beth Collins

The Spirits of Flowers

We were driving along the coastal cliffs of Croatia, the Mediterranean sea was shining below us with green islands smothered with white buildings and palms. Here and there exotic wild flowers dotted the roadside, whizzing too fast by my window to see clearly. “STOP the car!” I yelled. “Wild irises!” I had never seen wild…

Our Aurora

Yesterday Beau and I got into a fight. I was upset about something, he told me not to be, I told him he was being mean, he told me I shouldn’t tell him how to be, then I told him he started it…we were like a dog chasing its own tail. Miscommunication, lost in translation.…

Fern

Crumbled, wet earth slowly erupts with green magma. A tiny frond emerges from the dark earth. It blindly searches for light in a forest of low lying fog. It rises, up, up, up, but cannot find the slightest inclination there is anything waiting for it, so it begins to unfurl. I am afraid of the…

Worth the Risk

Mist curled around the edges of dark hills in the distance, lines and lines of vineyards flipped past like the pages in an old rolodex. I lay my head lazily to the glass of the bus window, satisfied with my choice: I had chosen to say yes to Adventure. To Unknown. To the call of…

From wing dust

During the summer before third grade a large manila envelope came in the mail with my name on it. Inside was a letter T on tag board paper, and instructions to decorate the T however I pleased, then bring it to class with me on the first day of school. I immediately got to work. …

Rose-colored memories

Through sparkling shards of amethyst and translucent rose petals I remember. An A-frame cabin in the snow, woolen knee socks and a window covered in frost. An agate slice wrapped in tissue from my father. A brush of rouge on my cheeks from my mother after I’d eagerly watched her adorn her own face. Driving…

Tears

“Every shining pine needle, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people. We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters.…

Under The Peach Tree

Vivien awoke under the mottled ambers of her large peach tree. A flurry of questions entered her head as she rose in the fading light. No. Not fading light. Morning light. Cobwebs strung with dew drops littered the grass around her. She staggered to her feet, pulling wet leaves out of her brown curls. Vivien…

The Ferrari

“She’s like a Ferrari … fun and flashy, but she takes a lot of work.” That’s what my father told my boyfriend, Beau, when he asked for my hand in marriage. 18-year-old me thought, First of all, come on. I am not property. I’ll marry whomever I want, ok? Even if he does carry out…

Out of the Woods

We were lost in the wilderness. My sisters, my husband and I were driving on a bumpy dirt road, following my father and children in the car in front of us. My dad loves to drive fast on mountain roads and soon we were enveloped in a cloud of dust. When we came out of…

The Queen

Chapter 1 We wander to where the flowers are. Their stamens ripe with nectar, their frills sugared with pollen. The brightest petals and strongest scents lead our way. The elders carry hives in silken packs through meadows and over mountains so our bees may thrive. Our nomadic colony has kept bees for generations. We scale…

Wandering vicariously

My family loves travel. If we’ve saved up a chunk of money the first thought is, “Where to next?” My sister Lucy spent a couple years on a tiny Honduran island teaching children. My mom spent teenage summers motorcycling and giving medieval castle tours in Europe, was a missionary in Laos, and was a bridesmaid…

Good fences…lined with flowers.

A walk through my neighborhood: an essay and photo journal.I’ll be honest.  I intimately know the flowers in my neighborhood, but hardly any faces. When I heard our word for this month was Neighbor I said, “Oh crap. All I know about neighbors is that good fences make good ones!”  But as I began journaling…

Heart

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…