little flowers

Written September 1, 2021 by Julie Niall
Last updated September 1, 2021

May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers. - Thich Nhat Hanh

I come from a long line of gardeners and flower lovers. My grandfather was a florist and many others in the family worked in the flower business. To this day one of my favorite things is to give or receive flowers. Many of us enjoy the gift of beauty and scent that flowers bring to our homes.

Once the Buddha gave a whole sermon based on a single flower. Actually, he apparently did not talk, he just held up a lotus flower for all to see and be enlightened by.

Years ago, on a bus to the airport with my husband and two young children, I sat next to a younger woman who was with her boyfriend. She took an interest in my children and asked some questions about our life. At one point she made the comment, "Well of course you would do anything for those two little flowers." Along with her sweet interest in my children, her naming of my little ones as flowers seemed so poignant and beautiful to me at the time. "Little flower" became part of a lullaby I created and sang to my children. I thought it was such a lovely term to symbolize the beauty of innocent children and the desire to care for them and nurture them with gentleness and wonder.

Another time I saw the florist at the supermarket slam two bunches of tulips onto the counter. I spoke up, explaining that my mother, a florist, believed you needed to always treat the flowers gently. I am sure she didn't like to be scolded by me and muttered something about the long day. I am sure it was. She was probably craving some gentleness herself.

Let's take care of the little flowers in our lives; and the wise old flowers.

Let's help each other to bloom and grow.

And let's appreciate Mother Nature for all her beauty.

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