My Life (So Far) In Flowers

I must have flowers. Always and always.

Claude Monet

At my grandmother’s funeral, the floral arrangements were amazing – both in beauty and quantity. There may have been more flowers for her at the cemetery than she received in 80 years. Why hadn’t I given her more flowers when she was alive? Did she even care about flowers? She might’ve thought they were a waste of money. Since she was born on a luscious West Indian island, maybe a simple bouquet couldn’t compare. Maybe memories of Hope Botanical Gardens in Kingston was enough. Maybe the rose bush that had been a constant for 40 years in front of our home, or occasionally receiving from her children and grandchildren on Mother’s Days had been enough.

Cascade of roses at home

As important as flowers are important to me, I can only remember receiving them from others on the rare occasions:

First college break-up – my mother anonymously sent me a bouquet for Valentine’s Day, so I would have something at the dorm front desk.

Wedding – He liked stargazer lilies and I liked the name, so they were featured in my bouquet. Our honeymoon was spent under a canopy of unforgettable vibrant fuchsia bougainvillea in St. John, Virgin Island.

Divorce – Death of a love that was supposed to last a lifetime, yet, there were no flowers.

First date / start of a new relationship – a single white rose After he called me by another woman’s name – a bouquet of irises and tulips.

Sorry I Called You Trina Because That’s Not Your Name Flowers

I decided to stop waiting for others to give me flowers and began buying them for myself. (Because I’m grown and I do dope grown woman shit.) For two years, every Sunday, I would buy bouquets of flowers to have on my desks at home and work — as mood boosters and pledges of self love. Give me my flowers while I’m alive. Tulips, roses, hyacinths, calla lilies, sunflowers, daisies, gardenias, magnolias, hydrangea… I love them all.

I would arrange the flowers and make them social media ready with quotes… “never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” (that’s Ralph Waldo Emerson) or hashtags #ibuymyowndamnflowers #nomondayblues #treatyoself #raisevibration.

I lived in metro Atlanta for almost 15 years and Piedmont Park remains my favorite greenspace, it is my first stop every time I go back to visit. But I’ve also made time to see some other well-known gardens and parks when possible:

Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco – a serene place for meditation.

Japanese Tea Garden – San Francisco, California (Sept. 4, 2012)

Boboli Gardens (Giardino di Boboli), Florence, Italy — memorable, because Dan Brown had just released Inferno, which I started reading on the flight to Rome. A high speed train then took me to Florence and I literally sat IN Boboli Gardens reading in real-time, the action occurring in the story on the garden grounds and the Palazzo Pitti. As a reader and traveler, it was a cool experience.

Rome, Italy (May 2013)
Boboli Gardens – Florence, Italy (May 31, 2013)

Coming across a beautiful jacaranda tree in Lisbon and recalling Alice Walker’s famous words… “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.”

Lisbon, Portugal (May 25, 2014)

Seeing a beautiful Mandela Bird of Paradise in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Mandela Bird of Paradise, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Cape Town, South Africa (June 30, 2016)

Spending a beautiful May in Paris (every day was sunny and beautiful blue skies) and walking through the Tuileries, Jardin du Luxembourg, the Champ de Mars, grounds of the Rodin Museum and Versailles. Lemme tell ya something…springtime in Paris is not shabby at all.

Versailles, France (May 2011)

A spontaneous trip to Amsterdam during one cold and rainy March week, and I missed the blooming of tulips at the Keukenhof. I brought back some bulbs for my home garden which blossomed in backyard planters with colorful hibiscus and plump hydrangea.

Bulbs from Amsterdam, picked up by me

Flower vendors outside my hotel entrance on bustling Las Ramblas in Barcelona or wrapped around door frames in quiet spaces found in Santorini and Hydra.

Barcelona, Spain (May 2013)
Oia, Santorini (May 2012)

Closer to home, trips to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to see cherry blossoms or a random trip to the New York Botanical Garden that coincided on the day of a rare blooming of the Corpse Flower.

Corpse Flower, New York Botanical Garden (June 27, 2018)

Or seeing water lily lotuses at Hearst Castle to having one tattooed on my left arm to remind me of my path to enlightenment.

Tattoo #10 on the path of enlightenment

I’ve been to all of those beautiful places andI’ve immersed myself in flowers, I even wake up to Earth #2, a beautiful print from BK The Artist. I can get them anytime I want and no longer hoped to receive them from anyone.

Earth #2, BK The Artist

And then… unexpectedly…

…I find myself on I-95S for an impromptu first dinner date…

…arrive at the hotel early and ask if check-in was available…

…one desk clerk looks at another and says to me, “you’re really early”, the second clerk says… “it’s okay, I was just up there, her room is ready…”

…get to the room and as I step through the door, see a beautiful arrangement of flowers on the desk, swimming in sunshine. Damn, Hilton really stepped it up for Honors members is my only thought…

…walking closer, I see the card. These aren’t from the Hilton Honors program. They were for me. Not because it was a Hallmark day, not because he’d done something for which he needed to apologize… they were just for me, just because.

On Monday, the hashtag on the photo of the flowers on my desk didn’t include #IBuyMyOwnDamnFlowers.

I didn’t buy these.
Seattle, Washington (Sept. 2019)
Stargazer Lilies

Copyright (c) 2020 Kimfinite Possibilities – KMS. All Rights Reserved.