It wasn’t anything special. A Polaroid of the flowers adorning my kitchen table, the pink carnations budding in the middle of an assortment of shy gold and stark white roses. The sun was stinging their petals from the rising of the earth in the morning, but their stance in the photo seemed calm… blushed and pure. I pinched the bottom of the photo and looked at their natural curvatures graze across the small, glossy canvas of developed film.
They weren’t a gift. They weren’t given to me from any other hand but my own. The snow melted outside the grocery store as I saw the stale yellow “SPECIAL” sign hanging off their water-filled cans lining the vacant floral department. I stopped and picked up the only two small Rose bouquets and a brilliantly blooming pink carnation bundle in the center. Pink and gold and white. Delicate and feminine.
There is a sense of peace that comes with real flowers. They are like a sweet dream: cascades of color and movement and pungent scents that are temporary yet beautiful and meaningful in their short existence. Almost fragile, but so magnificent in their power to exist in a world so cruel and damaged.
They are only flowers, you may say. They come and they go. They are not worth the money or the time or the thought. But like so many of us, don’t we also come and go without any significance to the masses? We are only here for a little bit, always growing older like the flowers wilting in the vase on my kitchen table. But to one person, maybe only me, these flowers existed to provide color and perspective to a day. They gave me feelings of being happy, loved, strong, feminine, and peaceful.
I can only hope that, like these flowers, my short existence brings existential joy to (even only) one other person, place, or thing.
This picture will sit on my bedside table and as I tackle another dream filled night, watching thoughts and hopes dissipate by morning, I will wake to the sight of a photo containing the memory of a long-gone source of inspiration. I pray to be as significant as these flowers. Perhaps this is why I was so inclined to take the picture. So that a fleeting dream could stand a fighting chance.