If you have but two coins
And long to be fed,
Use one to buy flowers
And the other for bread.
~ Christianna Pierce
I wrote this little stanza as a paraphrase of many similar sayings I have collected which express the importance of beauty as a vital contributor to the quality of our life.
Because we need to feed our spirit (or essence or inner self) as much as we need to feed our body.
I am reminded of the example of my mother. She and my father married when they were very young and they started a family right away. Neither had a college education, and they struggled financially in the early years to support themselves and their three children. With careful budgeting and simple meals, there was fortunately always enough to eat. And, amazingly, there were always fresh flowers in our house. A simple vase with a bright spray of forsythia from the yard or some wild sweet pea blossoms were a constant presence in our lives. A little spot of bright color to enhance the day.
When I came home from college to visit my family, my mother invariably placed a sweet little vase of flowers on the table beside my bed. It was never something she discussed, it was simply something she did. A gesture of welcome and beauty that did not require words but which spoke volumes, nonetheless.
When my mother died, we mixed her ashes with wildflower seeds and sprinkled them in a beautiful private meadow. The lovely floral blooms each summer continuously remind me of her gentle, compassionate nature.
And now our oldest son is in college. When he comes home for a visit, he often finds that I have placed flowers in a small vase on the table by his bed.
No words are spoken. But I think he knows how l feel, nonetheless.
image: Fresh Hydrangeas. © 2010. Christianna Pierce.