Flower Arranging

We had several sets of flowers on our table this week

Slowly dying as flowers do

Especially picked ones

And I think for a moment how flowers are like people

Some look good and some look a little the worse for wear

Yet all of us are really dying

Our days and years numbered

The first bouquet was from Abby’s sweet moment

On Homecoming Court

The biggest bouquet I have ever seen

So large she had to hold it like a beauty queen

On her arm

All shades of white with lilies, roses, and chrysanthemum

It lived longer than it had any right to

Longer than I have seen such flowers last before

The sheer volume seeming to keep each flower

Pristine and healthy looking

The second bouquet was from Abby’s volunteer leader at church

A congratulations given that next day

Such a sweet gesture

Hardier flowers still

A type of daisy I believe

In lovely fall reds and yellows

Then there were the flowers I picked at the pumpkin farm on Friday

I was afraid Jonathan would not be happy with me for bringing

Yet more flowers into the house

Though the other two by then had started to wane a bit

And I wanted them for the bedroom to sit on my desk

While I work

So long as my allergies would allow anyway

Bright, riotous colors

Zinnias I think

So today cleaning house for the week ahead

Preparing for the next few weeks of fall

Leading up to Abby’s play and Thanksgiving

I decided it was time to do something about the fading flowers

And the two bouquets fighting with each other

As they looked nothing alike

On the kitchen table

I pruned and I tossed flowers off the deck as I worked

Removing brownish leaves and wilting flower heads

I worked to create a new bouquet

Merging the two into one

Trying to remember everything the lovely Ellen Belliveau

Taught me about flower arranging

Lovely Ellen who died a few years ago

Such a beautiful woman in every way

So full of grace and light

She arranged flowers like they were extensions of her body

Her words of wisdom were like flowers to my soul

She was the one who taught me what it meant to respect my husband

About the power of words to hurt and to heal

I am not nearly so talented as she was

My arrangement is a little more “free form”

What the art teacher always told you when she was trying to make you feel better

About your lack of artistic ability

I can tell what looks good

But I can’t always tell how to make it so

It is an imperfect art, flower arranging

A bit intuitive I think


So I end up with a new arrangement

That is mostly of daises but with the best of the Homecoming bouquet added to it

Though it is not as good as Ellen would have done

I am astonished at how two competing bouquets

Can become one harmonized whole

Once you get rid of the wilting petals

And add fresh water

Though I know these too have a limited shelf life

Destined to die within the week

The farm flowers too I cut and arrange

A little less haphazard than before

About five of the flowers have to be discarded

Their stalks bending down

And I am happy now that I got the yellow one

Even though it doesn’t fit the color scheme

A pop of color was just what that arrangement needed

And I think again of how flowers are like people

We bloom and we wilt

We need pruning

Need sunlight when we are growing

And water to drink

And how beautiful we are because we are each unique

Handcrafted by God

More beautiful still when blended with others

Different from us

Not losing a bit of our own color and shape

And yet complementary

Enhancing one another

The glorious wonder of diversity

A bit chaotic at times


But beautiful

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