“Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.”
Wrong, Siggy. Wrong.
In all past articles, I do believe I would find a quote, agree with it, then drive the point home. Recently, however, I’ve been in a bit of a contrary mood and there have been a few cavities of my philosophical soul that need some fillings. How many times do we hear something that strikes a chord with us, you know, flings it’s fingers on the right fret, and sticks with us like some sort of haunting sequel. You hear it over again – a deviation from the original – but a slight difference. Enough to make us perk up and take notice.
Flowers have been my life – and I reckon they always will be. “You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family,” sure! I’m fine with that, I’ve been able to select certain family AND friends that stay with me in my life, however, I’ve never had the luxury to exorcise botanical wonders out of my life. It started before I could read, planting sticks in the back yard proclaiming I was growing trees, I ran away from home at the age of seven to buy corn seeds to grow in the back yard, I did my own version of pack trials in my bedroom in high school. I don’t even want to delve into the sickness that adulthood brought me plant wise. Thousands of dollars later I have nothing but a few pots of flowers on a covered balcony – a far cry from my two acres of landscaped bliss in South Carolina.
The problem with the Fruedian statement that flowers have not emotion or conflict is the exact gripe of any gardener or flower fan in the world, or at least, those that are trying to grow them where they don’t belong. There is a large part of me that wants to agree with this bold statement of being a footloose and fancy free flower, just because you’re a flower. He hasn’t studied the flip side of the coin, you know, the flower that was put someplace it doesn’t belong.
We don’t have to be gardeners to know what happens when you put something where it doesn’t belong. Put some tin foil in the microwave and tell me what happens. It doesn’t mean that the tin foil is bad, and it doesn’t mean that the microwave itself is trying to do harm to the tin foil, however, they just don’t mesh. Same thing happens with cats and water. Chaos ensues and you’ve got yourself wondering if the water is really trying to hurt the cat or if there is some deep seated problem with the cat that tells them they don’t like water. I could throw out a few more analogies, but I think the point has been driven home, flowers are a creature of their habitat.
I long for the opportunity to have Freud go out and look at some landscapes that were poorly planned, with creatures struggling to survive because they were set out of their element because of someone elses oversight. He must have never really dealt with plants, living breathing creatures as they are. Life is so much more volatile when you’re completely at the mercy of your climate as opposed to just getting by. Like the person stranded on an island without water, the suffering of a flower without water is parallel. Things like this are overlooked by the casual observer, aka, any psychologist without any botanical background.
The flower struggles daily, grasping for sunlight, craving water, wanting air to grow into and soil to reach for. Flowers really don’t have it that easy, although they look like life is nothing but roses (pun intended). Much like people, some of them decide to thrive even when it’s the wrong circumstances. I know for a fact I’ve had some of them, and on the other hand I’ve struggled with those that should have thrived without my help at all. Looking towards the gardens of my past and those that I envision in the future, nothing is a promise. Even when you have the perfect conditions for a plant, such as a paeony, it don’t mean that it’s going to follow the rules. For the number of times that I’ve tried to grow paeonies, trust me, I know.
“I’ve told you the analogy of the gardener with the beautiful garden, right? You walk up and see a beautiful garden, full of flowers. Then upon further inspection you see that all the flowers are actually weeds. That gardener has taken all of his focus and put them on the weeds.”
-My amazing boss
Here’s the thing, I’m not trying to be a plant nerd. Actually, the opposite. The perpendicular tangent that I’m running is this – we’re both living things however, a plant has no thought, it just survives. Humans, however, breathes and eats just like a plant, but we think about things too much. Too much mental energy is spent trying to figure out where we’d be happiest or what would cause us to thrive. Plants, on the other hand, just go and do, especially the weeds. You’ll never meet a flower that hasn’t struggled to get to where he is.
So, next time you see a flower, don’t take him for granted. Thank him for the struggles that he went through to ge there. If you were to compare your own life to his, it’s probably a little less sad. An abandonded seed that floats into soil and has to raise itself on it’s own….
Okay, maybe that’s a step too far….