What do flowers represent?
Ever wonder why we give each other flowers?
Why do flowers accompany happy moments as well as sad? Why are they a part of once-in-a-lifetime events, but also everyday moments? What is it about a flower that can cover the full range of emotions from happy to sad, span generations, and even hold time in place?
Flowers are beautiful
Whether a lovely scent or a captivating color, flowers are eye-catchers. Flowers are made to be attractive. Their whole purpose in nature is to attract a pollinator to itself so that it can make seeds. Sure, some are more attractive than others, but overall, flowers are made to be noticed. As part of creation ourselves, those enchanting colors, delicate perfumes, and graceful shapes capture our attention and our hearts. We can’t help but be drawn to beautiful things.
Flowers are accessible
Flowers can be found growing in almost every corner of the globe; they bloom on trees, on cacti, on weeds in a concrete sidewalk. You can be going about your daily life when suddenly there is a flower right in front of you. If you stop to notice it, that little flower can leave a moment of joy in your day. There are so many things in life that are beautiful, but few things are as accessible as flowers. Diamonds for example - chances are, you aren’t going to find a diamond just lying on the sidewalk. Sunsets are breathtaking, and you could take a picture of it or paint it, but you can’t bottle it up and take it to show someone else. Even in a painting or a photo, the experience just would not be the same.
While everyone may not have a great view of a sunset or live near the ocean or mountains, it's likely you have a yard full of dandelions or a pear tree that is covered in white blooms each spring. In addition to the blooms around you, we are now able to ship flowers from around the world and fill grocery store cases with them! Flowers are more available and affordable than ever before, making them one of the most beautiful things that are also the most shareable.
Flowers are perishable
They are beautiful and accessible, but it's difficult to take flowers for granted because they don’t last. Even if you don’t cut them off from their life source (their roots!), eventually flowers will start to fade. Diamonds are forever, oceans will keep roaring, sunsets will continue painting the sky - but flowers fade. Why do we place so much value on something that “just dies?” The truth is that there are many lovely and precious things don’t last. Food is eaten, objects collect dust, technology grows outdated (more and more quickly these days!!), and eventually, we all pass away, too. Nothing on earth lasts. The beauty of flowers is that they DO fade. If you don’t stop and notice them, you will miss their gift. They carry a powerful message of joy, comfort, love, peace, and so much more, but you can’t take it for granted. You have to stop and receive it. What a lesson flowers teach us! Simply learning to slow down, even for a moment, is a gift.
Flowers are messengers
When a little child brings in a handful of weeds to Mom, they are saying, “I saw these, they are colorful, I used my hands to bring them inside so you could see them because you are special to me and I want you to experience them, too.”
When a sweetheart brings a bouquet to their sweetie, they are saying, “You are beautiful, and I want to give you something beautiful to show you what you mean to me. Your presence brings joy and peace and beauty to my life, and while these flowers pale in comparison to you, they are the closest thing I have.”
When it's the wedding day, and a bride walks down the aisle carrying flowers, she is saying, “I am coming to you, My Love. I’ve prepared my body and mind and heart to give to you, to be the best bride I can be. I’m adorned with the finest white fabrics and lace, precious metals and stones, and in my hands, I carry the most beautiful flowers in the world. We will feast on the best food with our family and friends, we will dance and celebrate to the music, and we will enjoy the beauty of our surrounding venue. All of these things coming together to try to create a picture to represent something far greater - the beauty of our love.”
When a loved one brings flowers to someone who is ill or discouraged, they are saying, “It breaks my heart that you are in pain. I can’t take it away, but I want to try to make you smile, to see something beautiful, even if all you feel is hurt right now. There is light and there is beauty even in dark places.”
When a grave is dug, and hearts are grieving, and flowers cover where someone precious to us now lays, we are saying, ”I remember you. I mark this place. I mark this life that you lived. You brought joy and beauty and laughter and light to my life, and I remember that.”
From the times of profound grief and loss to moments of unsurpassed joy, flowers remind us how beautiful life is.
That there can be beauty in pain. That somehow in all these messy places, mixed emotions, everyday moments, seasons of calm and seasons of storms; somehow at the end of it all, life is worth marking with something beautiful.