This blog post is for a new Blog Hop: Wonderful Wednesday, which is a (wonderful) idea that Cyndi Calhoun who blogs at Pictimilitude came up with. The idea that photos will be the focus of the blog posts and each week will have a theme. Today’s theme is flowers.
I love flowers. One thing I particularly love about them is that they can get away with things we can’t. You know that saying, “Red and green should never be seen except upon an Irish queen?” Or maybe it’s, “Blue and green should never be seen, without one colour in between.” Or: “Brown and blue will never do.” There are so many variations, it’s hard to keep up, but my point is flowers don’t even try and they always look pretty. The blue pansies in our garden look just gorgeous with their green stems and with the brown earth in the background. (My withered Peace Lily doesn’t suit its brown tips quite so well!)
But seriously we could learn a lot from flowers. I’ll bet you’ve never heard a flower say: “I can’t come out today, my petals aren’t pink enough.” And I’ve never heard a buttercup say, “I can’t be friends with that clover: she’s red and I am yellow.”
When I sat down to work on this post, I thought I hadn’t written much about flowers before. I remembered one article on HubPages with flower photos my daughter took, and that was about it. Then I started thinking about Drawings in Sand, and realised that although there are no passages that wax lyrical about wandering lonely as a cloud among daffodils, there are frequent references to flowers. They mark the beginning of spring in the first chapter, as in this extract below.
She went into Kirsty’s room and opened the curtains. It was a beautiful day, and the trees in the back green were beginning to bud. Their shadows danced against a row of sheds along the side, while beneath the high back wall daffodils swayed in the breeze. At nearly the end of April spring had arrived in Aberdeen. They could go out into the sunshine and do Sunday morning family things. They could go down the sycamore-lined street to Victoria Park, through it, and on to the play area in Westburn Park.
Spring doesn’t last and the weather turns bitter and winter returns. Crocuses, broken by snow and wind, reflect Stella’s emotional turmoil.
The only flashes of colour were crocuses and daffodils, lying flattened by the wind, shivering in the frost. Kirsty kept asking to pick the pretty flowers, and Stella always said no. “They’re not ours; we’re not supposed to pick them. Besides if we do they will die.”
These crocuses also reflect love: Stella’s daughter Kirsty gives her a bunch of them. Stella’s boyfriend Macklin has said it was okay to pick them since they were broken anyway.
Later on in the novel, flowers remind Stella of a dressing-down she got as a child. Flowers also signal the possibility of improved relations with her mother. The push-pull of conflicting emotions stirred up by this memory and hope are reflected in this extract below:
They walked back with their purchases, Kirsty proudly carrying the flowers for her own garden. They looked like any normal family group out together. For all anyone knew a grandfather and father were waiting for them, out in the garden now the drizzle had stopped, getting the soil ready for these beautiful plants. No one looking at them would know about the ache inside Stella.
As in this novel, flowers are woven into the fabric of our lives. Even when we barely notice them, they are there, adding beauty, bringing memories and giving meaning to the smaller moments of life.
If you would like to join Wonderful Wednesday hop over to Pictmilitude.