A curious ambivalence toward beauty

P1010127I was just admiring some pink tulips that are brightening up my kitchen table on this extremely cold (-16C) and blustery winter day. I like them well enough, in fact tulips are one of the few cut flowers that I do enjoy. But as I was looking at them it occurred to me that I am curiously ambivalent about cut flowers. What’s that about? I am a passionate, if not obsessed, gardener. My perennials beds have so many different colours in them that it looks like a colour wheel exploded in my backyard. With the exception of Sweet Peas (which beg to be cut and deserve to be capitalized) and the occasional delphinium bloom that falls over from its own weight, I very rarely cut flowers from the garden to bring into the house.

Then I realized why. To me, flowers cease being “plants” when they are stuck in a vase. They are beautiful, of course, but they are not alive. I guess I regard them in the same way I would a fur pelt – gorgeous, but no longer an animal and not nearly as interesting.

That’s just my own quirk, of course – I’m not being judgemental. And fair warning – the wise man who comes to court me will bring the entire plant with him.