Flowers and Mindfulness

Many of the perennial flowers and herbs are appearing in our flower gardens now. It never fails to amaze me when they make their spring comeback. How do they know when it’s time? What is it that triggers the end of dormancy and compels them to break through the soil and start putting on their green?

Looking over the flower beds this morning, I was struck by all the thoughts that crowd my mind as I check on each plant. Every one of the plants is hitched up to a memory. The beach rose was a gift from my husband when we were in Kennebunkport a couple of summers ago. What a great trip that was. The blue hydrangea was a birthday gift from him. The dark purple meadow sage was a gift from my mother-in-law on one of our wedding anniversaries.

The yellow day lilies were a gift from a neighbor: I remember being in her garden, digging up lilies, laughing with her, and getting mosquito-bitten. The white cottage roses were the first roses I planted in the front flower bed. The purple clematis came from my husband’s old house, which he sold when we married. He loves that clematis and wanted to take it with him. I planted the red tulips the first summer in our new home.

The lemon balm came from my home on the shoreline. The Black-Eyed Susans were in my mother’s garden. The lavender was carried as a tiny sprig, in my suitcase, as I returned home after a semester studying Brythonic literature at Cambridge University in England. They have the most beautiful lavender on the campus there. I remember being stuck at Heathrow Airport for 19 hours (there was a security concern that canceled my flight), and worrying that the lavender sprig would die before I could get it home.

All the colorful hyacinths were forced indoors in earlier winters, then planted in the flower bed for blooming the following years. The hardy succulents were a gift for my graduation from the master gardener program at UConn. And a patch of white daisies was a gift from a compassionate friend the day after my beautiful Daisy Sage died. There are many more.

Each plant has a story behind it. Each story is full of love and goodness. Each year, the plants return to crowd my mind with all those moments. Whenever I pass them, or tend them, I time travel for a bit. It’s great. Plants are so completely amazing.

Live in peace.