My childhood was full of gardens. I have vivid memories of long days spent outside while my parents worked to plant, prune, and care for the sprawling land around our home, connecting to the earth and the rhythms of nature. I recall sitting with my grandmother in her flower shop while she created beautiful arrangements to brighten homes and add a special touch to celebrations for neighbors and friends. I remember "helping" my papa in his vegetable gardens, sprinkling my very own fairy dust to help the peppers grow.
After nearly 14 years in DC, those days seem far behind. I haven't found city living to be conducive to gardening, and despite family history, my thumb has never been remotely green. While I frequent the farmers markets for all matter of produce, my efficiency-driven self has been in the habit of walking right past the beautiful, fresh-cut flowers, seeing only the inconvenience of constantly watering, dusting the pollen , scooping up fallen leaves and petals before the cat discovered them, and scrubbing the vase of the eerie green film that inevitably crept in when I let the flowers linger a little too long.
But lately, I have been seeing things differently. Whenever my mother travels, one of her first tasks is to stop somewhere to purchase flowers. She may carry them with her through the day or put them in a water glass at the hotel - and when she visits, she always brings some for the table. In this new season of life, my mother has been visiting more often, and I have found myself picking up flowers in advance of her visit and keeping them for days after she leaves. They brighten the room, bring back special memories, and delight my daughter, who finds such pride in exclaiming, "fower! fower!"
Sometimes a small shift in perspective is all you need to reap large rewards from a small investment of time, energy, or effort. What can you see differently today?