Why Do Flowers?

Apr 04

April 4, 2024

Why Do Flowers?

Spring, the gift that never fails to floor us. Floor as in Earth-floor. Spring as in Eye. I saw these flowers while walking my dog a couple weeks ago. I had never seen them before. The blossoms – blossom does not seem the right word to describe this creature – seemed to reach out of the low shrub and grab me by the scarf.

I find I am often orienting my body towards flowers. This week it is frequently to plunge my face into a mound of pinkish jasmine, like a fragrant breast that brings me back to every childhood of my life, literally.

The other day I had time for a short walk on a bike trail in another town. People ambled to & fro, and the birds overhead chortled from their canopies, tempting me to find them. But the moment that seared me was an overheard question, offered to her grown-ups, by a little girl. She was in a Radio Flyer wagon and being pulled away from me, so I only retrieved the first part of her question. But she repeated it, searching, it seemed, for a final word or phrase.

“Why do flowers? –“

One can only guess at what she might have said after. Bloom right now? Smell? Fall?

But they fell away from me, and I from them, and so I am able to keep her perfect question, pressed like a purple petal in between the pages of a book.