#365 — They’re More Than Just Flowers

July 15, 2016

Hello again Maple People,

One of my musician friends also runs a flower shop. She’s quite “mellow” as most musicians are but one subject that can draw her ire is the phrase “in lieu of flowers” that we often see in obituaries these days. I can’t say that I blame her because the phrase “in lieu of maple syrup” might well raise my hackles a bit…after all, our livelihood should be sacred to us. Susan (not her real name) runs a quaint little flower shop and does a great job of arranging bouquets for every purpose.

Believe it or not, the custom of flower arranging dates back to when that first couple, Adam and Eve, got a bit creative with some fig leaves. According to Wikipedia, the Egyptians

Just look at those Irises!

were creating displays with plants as early as 2500 BC and even leaving proof of it in some stone carvings. For you “in lieu of” folks, flowers are indeed here to stay. The best flower arrangements of all, however, are heaven sent, like the clump of white irises that made their worldly début out in the middle of the field in front of our house last month. If they’d been daisies or buttercups, I would have thought nothing of it, but irises don’t simply appear out in the middle of a field.

Yes, they were planted, in this case, by my mother and father. Both Mom and Dad have been gone now for many years  but we continue to receive occasional gifts and messages from them, sometimes even in duplicate…you see, the word “iris” comes from the Greek word for “rainbow” and my folks often communicate to us by rainbow. That iris clump stood fresh and fragrant for only a short time before it wilted in the sun but we sure enjoyed it…thanks Mom and Dad for the flowers!

Breathtaking Ladyslippers!
Right now we’re enjoying another heaven sent “bouquet”…our secret Showy Lady’s Slipper swamp is in peak bloom. It happens every year about this time and, although it lacks the little “sent by” tag, we know that it too is from our parents. They loved those Showy Lady’s Slippers which, by the way, were delivered annually to them by the great Teleflora in the sky. My dad used to trek up to the Lady’s Slipper swamp every year at this time. He would wallow out into the knee-deep muck just to savour the beauty and before he left, he’d always pick a single one for his lady.So to my musician-florist friend Susan I say, “Keep up the good work”. Flowers provide a bright spot in a bleak world however fleeting they may be. Arrangements of flowers are here to stay and if the Susans of this world didn’t do it, God’ll get it done. William Blake put it so aptly in his poem “Auguries of Innocence”:

To see the world in a grain of sand

and heaven in a wild flower
hold infinity in the palms of your hand
and eternity in an hour.

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