A few years ago I was chatting to a guy a few years younger than I was. He and his girlfriend were sharing a house at the time. We were discussing domestic clutter and I argued that furniture was usually the prime cause of visual pollution. He agreed, stating that minimal furniture was usually ideal.
He made the point, though, that pictures are essential to creating a lively interior - to which I agreed (having an appreciation for art and being a photographer). But he also made the point that fresh flowers are also essential to creating a feeling of life and freshness in a room. I had not considered this before, but I was amazed at how instantly I understood the point.
True enough, they don’t last very long. So you must keep replacing them. Yet that is exactly why they work so well. Because they are natural and delicate, they don’t last. Because they don’t last you must replace them. Because you must replace them you can choose a different variety each time. So because they don’t last forever they introduce constant rebirth and rejuvenation into their environment.
When I was very young I used to pick yellow dandelions from the base of the hill behind our apartment and put them in a vase for my mum. Nowadays when I give flowers I make sure to be a bit more formal than that.
It is thought that when humans got their first, conscious spiritual impulse, it was recognized with the use of flowers. Long before the importance of gold, jewels, silver and ivory, the first ritual burials seem to have involved the deliberate filling of graves with flowers. Whether for birth, death and all that’s in between, flowers have been used by humanity for countless thousands of years.
An interesting piece of dialogue from Travels by the late author, Michael Crichton:
"What about the idea of the nurturing female?" I said.
"Only for children," he said. "Not for men." He shook his head
sadly, “Did you ever wish a woman would send you flowers?”
The question caught me off guard. A woman send me flowers?
"Sure. Send you flowers, a nice note, thanks for a lovely evening,
the whole bit.”
It seemed such a strange idea. But as I considered it, it seemed as
if it would be terrific.
"I’m telling you," David said, "we’re the romantics. Work it out."
I like having them around the house, no doubt about that. The thought of someone giving me flowers is nice, too. But I’d be just as happy if I got them myself, as long as they make the house look nice. But this I also know: I sure love giving them.