Do you like to go to outdoor markets in the summer? Angel and I love it and every Sunday we drive over to Ellison Bay, here in Door County, to stroll and, in her case, to sniff, through the flower and produce booths. Almost everyone seems to be carrying a bouquet of flowers. The vendors will assemble a bouquet to each individual's liking. Peering into the heart of a flower is to see a miracle. It does means stopping for a moment though, and giving the flower intense attention while looking into it's perfect symmetry, the beauty of form arising from the flowers perfectly balanced proportions. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in their brilliant colors. I like take my iphone with me so I can photograph the last flowers of summer and hold them in my memory during the coming months. I also use these images as meditation tools, breathing quietly while gazing into the flower photo, noticing how my shoulders relax and the breath becomes slower as a prayer of gratitude forms in my heart.
My mother bought flowers every Friday after work. Growing up, I can't remember a day when we didn't have a bouquet of flowers sitting on the coffee table. Sometimes it would be just a few flowers artfully arranged in a little glass vase that she picked up in an antique store or in a pretty cup or jar. Other times it would be a glorious profusion of Gladious proudly sitting in a huge vase in a corner of the room, welcoming us as we entered. Well into her late 90's she still managed to put flowers or little plant on her table in the nursing home. I'm grateful she passed this tradition down to me, filling our home with so much love and beauty. I feel she is with me in spirit every Sunday when I go to the market to buy my flowers! And every day when I see the fresh bouquet of flowers on my coffee table, I think she must be smiling.