Stop, Smile, Sniff....

I truly don't understand... I am sitting here enjoying my breakfast and coffee looking at the rising sun reflecting off the beautiful flowers hubby brought me yesterday, and I simply don't get it! Why have flowers been delegated to something simply reserved for a special occasion?  There wasn't one, he just knows I love flowers and he brought me a bouquet yesterday.  They are beautiful and vibrant, a perfect balance colors and scents, and most importantly they make me smile! They make me feel loved and treasured.

He was telling me about standing in line yesterday, he'd gone to pick up stuff for us to make breakfast together and he decided I needed flowers, a woman and her husband were standing just a bit in front of him.  It was one of those kinds of moments that are awkward, that there really is no comfortable way to deal with. The woman, looking at the flowers, kept repeating to her husband... "see that?"  (Okay guys, just a tip... that is our not so subtle way to point out that we are feeling neglected in the floral department.)  Her poor hubby just kept looking at anything but the beautiful bouquet.  I am sure in his head he was cursing hubby to death!

I have to tell you that is one thing the Europeans understand.  I think we need to understand it here in America.  We live in a floral desert here in this country. Everywhere you turn in Europe, are flower stands, not even shops, just stands.  Flowers are purchased daily, by everyone.  There are fresh cut flowers brightening homes, lovers give them to their loves, children to their parents, and parents to their children.   There are fresh flowers everywhere! 

Flower vendors on the Grote Markt in Brussels
And unlike in this country you will not have to consider selling your first born to buy them. Just about a year ago hubby and I were wandering the streets of Heidelberg, we were in the middle of our backpacking trip through Germany. In the light drizzle, on the town square just outside of the Cathedral, he bought me a rose.  It was a beautiful orange rose (those are my favorites). 

If he had done that here in the US I would have been upset.  Oh I would have enjoyed it, but because it cost so much I would have been upset that I had no where to put it to protect it to enjoy it longer.  There I relished it.  The fragrance, the beauty, the way it chased away the gloom and seemed to beckon the sunshine and drive away the rain.  For hours I carried that little bloom with me, smiling.  Inside and outside I was happy!  That little bloom cost only a few cents, it made my day wonderful, and he couldn't stop marveling at how little it had cost.
Flowers at the Farmers Market in Mainz

Flowers, in my opinion, calm people.  They are gracious and dignified.  The pull you back to a simpler time when sheer beauty was all that mattered. 

I fear in my beloved country that is something we are losing or have lost.  The graciousness of a flower or a bouquet.  The gentle feelings it gives both the giver and receiver. 

I am so thankful that hubby gets it.  I don't get flowers for special occasions, because I get them for all occasions and they make them special!  A gloomy day, hubby is bound to show up in my office with something cheery to make me smile.  I can't tell you how many days that were a struggle, when nothing seemed to be going right that I have walked back into my office from a meeting or dealing with something and there sitting on my desk is some type of flower.  A single mum with a pipe cleaner smiley face on it, a bouquet of sunflowers (one of my favorites), a delicate lily, a bouquet of orange roses (I am not a rose fan, they are too fragile and don't last long enough... but orange roses simply melt my heart!), or a personal favorite of mine is a cheery mixed bouquet.  Where I can slowly remove the ones that were more fragile and continue to enjoy those that are in no hurry to fade away.

We can be grocery shopping and at the last minute a bouquet shows up in the cart, he will run out for dog food and bring back flowers, there is no reason - just because.  It makes them so special, to know I am thought of when he sees beauty... what a powerful feeling!

I can tell you over the years it has caused more than a few hard, awkward feelings. When people I love are jealous because their hubby didn't think to send them flowers. It makes me sad.  Sad that more people cannot enjoy the gift of flowers.  I wish they were everywhere.  I wish it was like years ago in Germany when we came across a pick your own sunflower field.  In the middle of the field of sunflowers was a simple box to leave payment.  I loved to go there, for very little I could spoil myself and my family with the beauty of a sunflower to celebrate a passing season.

Even little bits love to receive a bouquet!
When money has been tight, hubby has been known to show up with a bouquet of wild flowers.  Nothing will make you smile bigger or feel more loved than the image of your big tough guy handing you a bouquet of wild Black-eyed Susan's, because he knows you adore them.  Except of course maybe the story of how he gathered them that goes with it!

I wish that here in America we hadn't forgotten that flowers are always an appropriate gift, I wish they weren't so expensive.  I love that Aldi's and Schnucks are finally understanding that.  I don't mind $5 for a bouquet, they last for such a fleeting moment... but what they do to the heart and soul lasts forever. Too bad we don't have more roadside vendors or folks in the disappearing town squares selling them from colorful tents and stands.  Giving us all a reason to smile, stop and sniff... and then to share that happiness with everyone we love.

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