These little flowers strike me as being kind of sassy – they’re, bright, bold, and struttin’ their stuff.
Flowers usually appear in clusters swaying and dancing in the wind – a large field of them can take on the appearance of what’s known as a “mosh pit” or perhaps even a “rave”.
If the wind is gentle their movements mimic a highly choreographed chorus line or rhythmic movement of ocean waves, the gentle caress of a river or stream along a shore line lapping at your feet.
Flowers seem gregarious to me, outgoing and interactive, they like company whether it is their kindred or that of pollinators.
If you see a flower return the smile, maybe even join the dance ……. you know, that dance like no one is watching thing.
In looking at this a child said it was a birthday flower.
So I asked what made them think so and they pointed to “candles” in the middle of the flower.
A comparison I never would have thought of but seems so appropriate when viewing things through the eyes of a child.
It’s been a game of sorts to ask children what do they see when looking at a photo such as this, I think it cultivates their power of observation and imagination- the inclusivity and letting them know you are interested in their opinion serves to strengthen bonds and a sense of well being in addition.
They may know the candles are actually stamens depending on their age without fully understanding their purpose, but it would be a drab world for children and adults as well I believe if we restricted ourselves at all times to a strict literal interpretation of all things.
Art, literature, music, theater, photography, even poetry would become rigid and sterile.
A birthday flower? yeah, that works for me.
We enter into this world with nothing, and that is exactly how we will make our exit, in consideration of that we should understand our role is more one of stewardship and a generational legacy.
We should conduct ourselves as caretakers toward the environment, in relationships, and especially with children who are the future and place their trust in us.
In the previous two blogs I noted the difference in the way things look at night and expressed a personal sentiment that I draw analogies between flowers and women, in that vein I was going to title this blog women of the night.
Didn’t take long to realize a negative connotation could be associated with that, so I opted for children of the night and then remembered in an early Dracula movie I had seen Dracula when listening to wolves howl called them children of the night.
I can live with that as the cinematic Dracula is a fictional character and wolves are children not just of the land but of the night as well with “the music they make”, nocturnal song fests – songs that stir primordial memories.
I remember as a child asking grandmother if flowers folding their petals at night mean’t they were sleeping and why would they need to sleep as they always stayed in the same place and didn’t do any work?
Grandmother said yes night is when they sleep much the same as all living things do with exceptions – then went on to explain to me the many ways in which they do work from producing nectar for bees who in turn make honey to smiling at us when we draw near.
The smiling puzzled me a little and so I asked how do they smile and grandmother kind of laughed and said with the pretty face paint they show us and the fragrance they offer.
Changed my entire perspective about flowers and I’ve had a greater appreciation for them every since even though I had been taught that all that surrounded us were living things worthy of respect.
We were sitting outside at night when I asked her this, she went on to say if you speak the right words or sing the right song that flowers would awaken and open their “ears” to listen and maybe I should give it a try.
I wasn’t sure what to say and didn’t know any “flower” songs being only five or six years old so I didn’t have much success other than what I imagined were slight movements.
Grandmother took over where I left off and within moments the movement of the flowers we were near could not be mistaken as my imagination or even a breeze.
When their petals actually began to open it was like an out of body experience for me, I had a feeling I couldn’t describe other than to say I was lighter than air.
Having finished her song grandmother said the flowers needed their rest just as I did and time for me to go to bed – I’ve kind of smiled over the years in remembering how grandmother worked in it was my bedtime – clever woman.
Some things you may forget, others you might dismiss as you grow older, but not this.
Some might say this a cute story, a child’s story predicated upon a child’s imagination or even a dream – problem with that is as an adult I’ve seen grandmother give the same lesson to her grandchildren.
I don’t know these songs and without ever having asked to be taught them I believe they are no less the songs of women than those our mothers sang to as us as infants and children.
If that is true I think it appropriate in a world that seems intent on humanity becoming an amorphous genderless entity as I believe there are gender specific gifts and abilities that serve to balance relationships and all things.
The thing about flowers unless you confine them to a flower bed or specific area is they tend to become wildflowers gradually expanding their territory.
That’s a good thing though as I believe they become more robust, less dependent.
Birds, bees, an assortment of insects, and even field mice take it to be a banquet and nothing wrong with that either.
In the planting of “domestic” flowers I’ve happened upon them a quarter to half mile away of their own volition adding an additional splash of color to nature’s palette.
That pleases me when I see they are visited by bees and other pollinators.
But I also confess that along with the “gatherers” when hiking to strewing handfuls of flower seeds about with the thought in mind that if they don’t take hold then they’ll provide nourishment for birds and forest denizens.
Weeds are one thing but an understanding has been arrived at that flowers have a free hand, if they start doing the land grab thing among the edibles easy enough to relocate them, and marigolds are a welcome addition to any vegetable garden as an insect repellent.
I tend to think of flowers as women – some have a gentle strength, some are fragile, and some are a little thorny, but they all serve an important purpose and even in the midst of the weeds life can hand you they add a splash of color to balance things out.