Oh So Lovely
Driving on a neighborhood back road recently, I approached an inviting older home with the kind of lovely, peaceful yard that makes you want to just stop and take it all in. It was perfectly shaded, dark hues of green everywhere, blooms creating pops of deep color in perfect contrast.
The home had that lived in feel from the outside. I thought lovingly of my grandparents’ old house. As a child I enjoyed sitting outside on the patio or playing upon the stone walkways, pale violet hydrangeas and glorious green as my backdrop. Back then I adored the East Coast feel of the summer thunderstorms, the sounds and sensation of falling rain, hand in hand with the heat upon my skin; things I just didn’t experience in the warm, always sunny months of a California summer.
Such happy memories.
When I passed this home not far from my own, I also took comfort in its delightful picket fence, flowers winding around it throughout. I spied a splash of violet with blue petals behind it, like nothing I had ever seen before. I stopped and looked closer.
It was a beautiful larkspur. The flower of the month of July. And there were others, a gorgeous range of deep purple to pale pink and then to white.
I went home later that afternoon and headed right for my computer, wanting an impromptu education on all things larkspurs. I learned about their meaning, and how they symbolize love, sweetness and an open heart. Flower meaning hasn’t always resonated with me. I would much rather look at the physical beauty and presence of a flower and decide then whether I like it or not; I assign my own meaning, if you will. Sure, the meaning of specific flowers did once serve a purpose in our history. We can thank the social mores of Victorian England for that, when the language of flowers spoke the sentiments of lovers; it was culturally unacceptable to voice passionate and loving words publicly. A vibrant bouquet would speak them for you.
As for the meaning of the larkspur, I would say all of those things are quite lovely. I can definitely get behind it. Beautiful flower, and beautiful meaning. A winning combination.
There is just something about a flower. When you really study it, contemplate it, it really can be your world for that moment. Little spots of light in a sometimes not-so-easy existence. I know it to be true.
So when I need a lift , to lay my eyes upon that delicious color, so earthy and natural, I will drive past that quaint neighborhood spot and take it all in.
I thank it for its inspiration.
It encourages me to create pretty things, and make my own home and garden more beautiful.
But more important, it inspires me to appreciate the power of what my eyes can see.