In every snowflake there is a flower waiting. Flowers, when they fade away, become seeds for snowflakes. Snowflakes, when they fall, become flowers when they melt. How else to explain the softness of fresh snow and the warmth of flower petals against the cheek? Snow, nearly absent of aroma, gives way to flowers with the most!
How does everything stay folded up inside the blossom? All that color and all that fragrance? Deep in the earth all winter or inside the buds on a tree or shrub, waiting, like all of us, for a warm morning, a friend to call. Someone walking by to smile at us. The flowers are all of this and more. Soul food. They nourish our dreams and caress our faces and our spirit.
Here in northern Vermont our hills are alive. Crocuses and snow drops, tulips and grape hyacinths, pussy willows, forsythia, azalea, apple blossoms, calling us out to dance with them and around them, twirling, breathing, full of life like they are.
I put on the record album from the 1970s by Donovan, A Gift from a Flower to a Garden. My daughter, raised in an era of CDs says to me, “It was just the other day that I realized you could turn them over.”
Flowers tell us to wake up, it’s spring again! They remind us to be gentle. They help us to slow down, to appreciate beauty.
Someone invented a flower clock so you can tell what time of year it is by what flowers are blooming. Here in Elmore, if pussy willows are out, it’s early April. Juneberries and forsythia? Late April. Flowering crabs? Late May. French lilacs? Early June. Canadian lilacs, two weeks later. Roses? Mid-late summer. Our calendars could have names of flowers instead of months. “I’ll meet you on the third day of elderberry blossoms.” It would be fun and relaxing to see if we could meet then. Probably the only reason we have names of months on our calendars is because not everyone has the great fortune to be surrounded by all kinds of flowers, all the time.
We can plant things to give us flowers from April through September. Did you know that when you plant shrubs and trees, they can keep flowering for twenty to over one hundred years, and you only have to plant them once? We can plant flower seeds and bulbs and bedding plants very close to our houses and places we sit. We can plant them along our walkways and at the sides of our entrance steps. We can give flowering plants as gifts, and we can make bouquets and give them to our neighbors for any or no reason.
There is a saying that the world is in a rough state right now because of senseless hatred.
And harmony and peace will be restored by loving each other for no reason.
David Fried walks and works among the flowering trees and shrubs at Elmore Roots.