In Praise of Flowers

Can I talk about flowers for a minute? Gee. Thanks.

Owning a wedding and event venue, I see a lot of flowers. A lot. From rare and exotic to the roadside weed, baby’s breath.

I love flowers. I love to grow them. I love to get them as gifts. I love to take photos of them. I love to go into flower shops and talk them into letting me enter their cooler so I can hand pick specific blooms for whomever I am making a bouquet or for whatever event I am embellishing with natures little beauty pageant contestants.

Sometimes, I hear the tired and sad logic of non-flower fans, “It’s such a waste. They just die anyway.” My heart hurts every time I hear that and it makes me wonder if these people have pets (who die anyway) and friends (who die anyway) and long term relationships (that, eventually die when one of the participants exits planet Earth.)

Flowers are proof of the existence of whomever or whatever dreamed up this whole three dimensional experience of life. Flowers are small freaking miracles. They are little works of art; each and every one of them. When I see them, they remind me that there is a much larger and grander overall plan for this world. Larger than binge watching an entire TV series on Netflix in a weekend. Larger than some sophomoric company whose goal is to gather a bazillion dollars and be the king of the hill- until the next king comes along.

Flowers are constructed of aerodynamically perfect proportions, balanced to exacting measurements to catch rain water and sun rays and the attention of bees and birds that go about the busy work of pollinating the heck out of anything that needs their sweet nectar. They grow in cracked cement in unlikely places as readily as in the greenhouse of a master gardener.

They announce seasons and wave their colorful faces like a viral Tweet from the Universe… @Mimi! Look over here! I’m being beautiful, just for you, right now!

Sure, they’ll die soon. And they would anyway in a field or a greenhouse or a backyard. The point is, for the glorious moments they are visible, they are treasures we can hold and smell and look at and they cause us to halt in our steps to look again at their perfection and be, truly, in the moment. They are an organic Zen moment if we honor them by acknowledging their short and perfect existence.

Some of the non-flower people I know spend a lot of time and money on courses in enlightenment and proudly parrot people like Ekhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now. “I just stay centered and in the moment and that’s how I find my bliss.” Bullshit. You totally missed the lesson. You are focused on the future, when the petals start to fall and you are missing the actual NOW of the brief life of a bloom; a source of beauty and joy right in front of your face. If you missed the flower’s life because you can’t see around its impending doom, what else are you missing out on while you’re “centered in the moment”… well, future moment, anyway?

I had run in with breast cancer ten years back. Tons of fun. I was there and now I’m not. I remind myself each day that NOW is the very best moment…ever. And I’m truly grateful for now. And I celebrate each subsequent now with noticing beauty- anything beautiful- each and every day. I don’t do it for anyone else. I do it for me because I know that this now is the only now I am guaranteed. And if I squander it by turning my nose up at small, affordable treasures like a hand full of flowers to brighten my day, then I am a damn fool.

Buy the roses, clip that blossom and put it in a glass by your bedside table. Bring the neighbor a bundle of wonder. Send that bouquet to the one you are thinking of. I once had a *someone* who sent me a rose every day to my office. It was such a small thing but it let me know he was thinking of me and it made me feel like a queen. Do that for someone you think of. Do it now. It’s the only now you are guaranteed.

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may…”

Roses today- August 10, 2017
Album succulent flowers
My cactus blooms
roadtrip Copper Harbor flowers
Copper Harbor, MI
Crocus study
Crocus near my driveway

Age Before Beauty


Prell Shampoo

Breck Coconut Cream Rinse (square glass bottle)

Chapstick (metal tube)


That was once the entire list of my beauty arsenal that I carried to school, swim team practice, and anywhere else I had to look more human than Yeti. Can I just say that by today’s standards, I may as well have been washing my hair with radioactive waste but it got the layers of chlorine out, which was the point. A few months after a summer of sun and the constant acid hair bath, I had a pretty awesome and free ombre hair style. Back in the day, Prell was the gold standard for freshy-fresh hair cleaning. It never seemed weird that its vivid green color was suspiciously similar to the Ooze that changed four regular turtles into sewer dwelling ninjas.

The conditioner: some of you remember the commercial with the beautiful island girl with perfect hair down to her rear end. She would take her comb and start to run it through her hair and because of the Breck Coconut Cream Rinse’s superior ingredients, the comb would magically float, all by itself, down the length of her deep brown, Hula Girl hair. I wanted that hair. My only island blood is Sicilian so, yeah, that didn’t happen. But I could dream, couldn’t I?

My little beauty kit was a small bag I’d gotten from somewhere and the hairdryers were attached to the wall; big white metal things with a black metal vent you could turn down for short girls, up for us who were taller. We would stand there and rub and brush and in spite of the odds, we would step away with a pretty presentable fall of smooth and glossy hair. I think it had to do with the fact that you could use both hands to fix your hair with a wall blower. I would put one of those things in my house in a New York minute. They rock.

So today, while I was putting on some makeup so I could go to the grocery store and not “scare people”, I did a visual inventory of my dressing table. The drawers, baskets and boxes hold a zillion and one products that now sort-of do what my four item list once did.

These days, I purchase my makeup organizers at Home Depot and there are products in here called “primer” and “base coat” though they didn’t come from Sherwin Williams. I have things that look like trowels and some of it might be spackle stuff but I don’t want to know.

Pluckers and scrapers and scissors litter the space but I need them when I find that errant hair that shows 1/16” on my upper lip, yet when I pull it out the true length of it makes me scream in horror. Where does that hair live? Did I lose the little algebra I had retained to make room for the Rapunzle factory that must be hard at work inside my skull? And if it’s so busy pushing that hair to my lip area, why in hell can’t it push more to the top of my head? What is going on here and who is in charge of this deconstruction anyway? We need to talk…