Some years ago, I was considering moving to Haarlem in the Netherlands. High up on the list of reasons why I should was the abundance and year-round availability of inexpensive cut flowers. I had visions of an airy house, with a garden, lots of windows, shallow-stepped stairs, and every room sporting its own vase of fresh flowers. Instead I moved to Budapest where fresh flowers cost a small fortune. My favourites, white gladiolas, can cost as much as €4 per stem and by the time they get to Budapest, they’re well open and I’m lucky if they last three days.
Mam got these flowers for Easter – 30 yellow tulips. And they’ve opened beautifully. If I could paint, I’d have the easel up and the watercolours out. But I can’t, so I had to make do with a photo. They’ve given me pause for thought though.
Many years ago, I dated an Australian whose weekly grocery list included a bunch of flowers. When I first discovered this curiosity, I was rather surprised as my boyo was a bit of a man’s man doing manly work. But I had no trouble getting used to it. A good mate of mine in Scotland sends me flowers on occasion – much to the amusement of my neighbours, who are at their wits end to discover where these flowers come from and who the mysterious P is (I’m sure they’re human enough to have peeked into the little message envelope).
In today’s world everything seems to be disposable. It is getting harder and harder to find that perfect gift for people who seem to have everything they need and are clueless as to what they want. Flowers are the answer. Is there anything more cheerful than a dash of colour in a vase, be they a simple bunch of wild flowers or a designer bunch of carefully chosen stems put together by a trained hand?
This week, although my head is all over the place and I’m questioning the very essence of life, it was this bunch of flowers that reminded me that life can be over analysed. While everything happens for a reason, sometimes it’s not necessary that we know why. Sometimes, simplicity is everything. While we might need to make decisions that will change the very nature of how we live, we don’t have to do it this very minute. Today, I took time to smell the tulips and give thanks for everyone in my life who has, a some stage, shared some flowers with me.