“They sat and drank by the tea table and talked about love a lot”
I’m sitting in the kitchen again, it is quiet at the moment, the view is beautiful as always, albeit cloudy. I woke up early, for Saturday anyway, and decided to take my computer with me into the kitchen and write a blog about flowers. Yet since it is in fact the kitchen I was sitting in, meaning people come to eat, make coffee, it is only now in the early afternoon that I can start writing this in some sort of silence. It made me laugh, one after another my housemates came into the kitchen with a particular story that was on their mind at the time; it was enjoyable to listen and to join in. If I wanted to be completely alone I wouldn’t have chosen kitchen as the place for writing this, it is after all the busiest room in the house, and with the most beautiful view too.
Whenever I sit like this in the kitchen for longer intervals the experience reminds me of a theatre play. Each new person entering is like a new act; the atmosphere changes and the topic of conversation changes too. The difference being here is that it’s all real. Each of us bring something new and these encounters can be quite enriching.
Yet, I was going to write about flowers. Lately, I keep finding flowers randomly as I walk in town. I already wrote about finding a delightful red flower a few weeks ago and how its beauty inspired me. This past week I shared short reflections on the radio and on Tuesday I spoke about that graced moment of finding this flower. I played that particular ‘radio reflection’ to my colleague at work just as I was to leave the office. And you know what happened a few minutes after that as I stepped out on the street? I found the same kind of flower again! I took it and admired it. Simple random things like that can bring so much joy. And you know, it makes me think that sometimes beautiful moments don’t wait to be chosen or noticed, they in fact choose us, they are a gift.
Some of the petals on this lovely red flower already started to whiter, though most of it still looked lively and fresh. The breeze gently swirled from petal to petal, making me wonder if one of them will detach and fly freely. It amused me by reminding me of that old childhood ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ rhyme, so I was determined “If one of the petals detaches itself, I can live with that”. As the wind increased in strength, I quickly decided to press the whole flower into my notebook; I didn’t want to count the petals as they one by one fly up in the air. But curiosity didn’t give me peace. Not long after, I went to peek in among the pages of the little book to see if I had pressed the flower well. Well now, the wind swirled before I could close the pages again and one, two, three, the petals flew, I lost some of them along the way.
Must have been a sight for a movie scene. Imagine me walking in town, opening a little notebook to admire the flower I had randomly found and suddenly petal after petal fly out. I turned around and though I convince myself I looked calm, interiorly I could hear myself utter ‘noo!’ Then I smiled at myself, grateful for this new moment with the red flower. I left these three petals on the ground and went away.
Later that day at home I asked one of the women in my house if she knew the name and what symbolism this particular red flower represents. “Geranium, this is geranium”, she said. I was interested to find out the meaning of this beautiful flower since I stumbled across it twice, there is an underlining theme, a tread; these lovely flowers have blessed my days. This is what she found, “it is believed to symbolise unity and true friendship”. I like that! Another source called them pelargoniums and they were supposed to symbolise ‘comfort’. OK, apparently the same flower has negative meanings attached to it as well, but since my experience was more than positive I don’t think they would apply.
And so, I keep finding flowers along my way. I also saw two dried daisies in Christ Church when I was there the other day, unusual sight as they lay there on the ancient stone, unnoticed but cute. I saw a rose on the pathway near the Grotto in front of my house, and two orange flowers lying in the grass. These flowers are like God’s blessings sprinkled at our feet, to make our path in this life filled with colour, delight, an occasional graced moment in order to make this journey of life slightly more bright.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, 19th July 2014)
Photo by © Iva B.