I have always loved receiving a fresh bouquet of flowers. The beauty, the aroma, the mise-en-scene… everything about them is rejuvenating. It’s no wonder when we are sick that people want to bring us something beautiful that reminds us of life and it’s absolute beauty.
Being sick these past few weeks I felt showered in flowers. I had two beautiful bouquets in my bedroom. One bouquet sitting in my living room, two on the kitchen table and even a bouquet in my bathroom. When I saw them I sincerely smiled and felt the love of those who has offered them.
I am always puzzled when I hear, “Flowers, what a waste of money.” Perhaps we see too much as wasted. Is it not better to say, “Welcome flowers, I know we only have a short time together; but I want to savor this time?” Each petal and each color is going to remind me of the magnificence of God creations. To remember that the measure of their creation is to bring me joy and remind me that winter will end, bodies will heal and I am loved. Doesn’t it only make sense that we offer them in times of grief and recovery?
I have since had to bid adieu to all those lovely arrangements. The joy the memory of those flowers created reminds me of the beautiful frailty of our own mortality. I love how God states, “the good things which come of the earth, … for orchards, or for gardens,…Yea, all things which come of the earth, … are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;… for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:17-19)
To love something …even for only a short season… is enough. These flowers come quietly radiating joy and love and ever so quickly bid farewell. This is the pattern of many wonderful things in this world. As James Barrie, the Scottish poet, declared, “God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the December of our lives” (paraphrasing James Barrie, in Laurence J. Peter, comp., Peter’s Quotations: Ideas for Our Time , 335)