Blooms of Wisdom

Blooms of Wisdom

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom

Blooms of Wisdom

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
~Emma Goldman

My mother loves flowers. As soon as warm weather comes around, you will find her planting, mulching, watering, weeding and fussing over everything from tulips to mums. For a number of years we lived next door to each other, and she spent as much time in my garden as she did her own. After the blooms became plentiful each summer, she would cut colorful bouquets to enjoy inside the house—both hers and mine. I would often come home from work and find a beautiful arrangement of fresh flowers on my coffee table or bathroom vanity.

Shortly before Christmas one year, a local florist offered a bouquet-a-month special. It seemed to be a made-to-order gift for Mom, a great way to thank her for all of the flowers she had given me through the years. I couldn’t wait until Christmas so I could give it to her!

After the holidays, in early January, I drove her to the florist to pick up her first month’s bouquet. The small bunch of mixed blooms the florist handed her, while fresh and colorful, would hardly fill a small vase.

I was so embarrassed.

But, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and moms are good at soothing their children’s feelings. After we returned home, she began to arrange the half dozen stems she had received.

“Mom, I’m sorry,” I told her. “I can’t believe how skimpy that bouquet is.”

She looked at me and smiled. “It’s okay,” she said as she adjusted the flowers. “It allows me to better enjoy the beauty of each one.”

I was struck by the insightfulness of her remark, because it illustrated how much she loves flowers, each and every flower. Yet it also related, so poignantly, to life in general and helped me to realize something bigger and more important—that when we have too many good things we often fail to enjoy the beauty of each one.

Thanks, Mom, for helping me understand that less is sometimes more.

~Kathy Harris

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