Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Photos for Wednesday: Callas in Pink (aka My Ode to Fresh Flowers)

Calla lilies might be my favorite flowers. These pink ones were especially pretty on my kitchen table:

Morning Lilies

I love flowers. I love that in the spring especially you can get all sort of fun, fresh flowers. I love going to Trader Joe's because right by the front door they have bunches and bunches of fresh flowers that won't completely empty out your wallet, and the flowers they have aren't just your stereotypical carnations and roses but rather a whole array of colorful, unusual, intriguing flowers, some of which I have never seen before and almost have a hard time believing that they actually come off a real plant.
Also, Trader Joe's sells calla lilies in the spring (and they're my favorite).

A Better Still Life

Are flowers practical? No, not really. They are cut parts of plant that you stick in water in hopes that they die more slowly. If you're lucky they might last for a week. But in some ways, I think that makes them even more beautiful. For a few days they grace your table or windowsill with the beauty of their presence, an extra-ordinary pop of color that you can't help but notice and smile.
In some ways they remind us of ourselves. Isaiah 40:6 reads,
All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. 
We are fleeting and frail creatures. We must enjoy the beauty of our presence here now. A few days on the table and we are gone.

Curls and Curves

Really, though, the philosophical reminder of my own impending demise is not the root of my love for fresh flowers, as poetic as that might be. Honestly, I think flowers are beautiful and that beauty brings a smile to my face and brings joy to others as well. A little life in the kitchen is always a good thing, a welcome distraction from what is distinctly un-beautiful in the world.
The summer after my junior year of high school, I finally obtained my driver's license and began to taste the freedom that a car and a set of keys can provide. That summer, my mum also fell ill again, and with her particular genetic disorder, coming back from an illness is quite a bit more difficult for her than most. My shiny new driver's license allowed me to take over the errands and the grocery shopping while she recovered at home, and the previously unspent allowances and babysitting earnings from prior years meant I had a bit of money saved up. So most weeks, when I made the errand circuit, or sometimes just on the way home from a friend's house or some event, I stopped in the Trader Joe's on the way home and picked out the most colorful bouquet I could find. Lilies were were her favorite. She always smiled when I brought them home.

Callas in Pink

So, I suppose I love flowers because they make hard days better, illness and pain a little bit more bearable, and generally bring a smile to the face of most who encounter them. Their beauty may be temporary and their life in the makeshift wine bottle vase not too long, but it is a bit of life where there wasn't any before.
I don't make too much of a habit of buying flowers (it's a bit too much for my poor-college-student-budget). But these came home with me on a particularly hard and overwhelming day when it was good to have something lively and uplifting to cheer up the kitchen table. They made me smile.

All photos taken by Kara Haberstock, February 2012, all rights reserved
Pin It