#SOL18 Lessons from Flowers

"this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
in order to bloom"

-rupi kaur

On Mother's Day morning, my daughter Megan earnestly said to me, "My heart pumps with love for you." At five years old, I find that sentence to be incredibly poetic as well as amazingly sweet. She followed up with, "I don't only love you on Mother's Day- I love you every day!" My son, Alex, made me a bookmark which he colored with effort and care. His handsome face is on the bookmark, too- a school picture from earlier in the year before life took a turn. 

On the day before Mother's Day, we went to the garden store and picked out beautiful, colorful flowers to plant in a new patch of soil we had the landscapers create near our recently redone walk. I now have lots of hours of planting before me! I've never been much of a gardener, but hope this year the flowers and I will have an understanding: We need beauty and blooming. 

My grandfather, Grandy, was an excellent gardener. When I think about him, I one of the first things I remember is how he loved flowers and planting. His yard was a think of beauty which he took pride in. Every Easter, my mom would buy him a new rosebush. His roses were especially gorgeous. When he died in September of 1999, one rose grew and bloomed the largest we ever seen... in December. We took it as a sign from him that he loved us and was happy. 

There are lessons in flowers, as you see. 

Slow down and smell them, of course.
Appreciate beauty.
You reap what you sew. 

The above quote from rupi kaur really spoke to my heart. After a season of sorrow, I feel my heart starting to open up again, little by little. I feel joy coming back to my days. The sunshine fills my soul and reminds me that spring always comes again. 


  1. A wise and beautiful poem, apt for your post. I'm glad Mother's Day brought moments of joy and wonderful memories to sustain you. May you have a spring full of flowers!

  2. Even in your sadness you manage to construct a beautiful piece of writing that is filled with love and appreciation. You've had a rough time recently and have been brave and strong. It's time to allow yourself to grieve a little and be tender with yourself. As mothers, we often forget to take care of ourselves when we need to.

  3. It will be exactly what you need. Garden with your kids - they will love it too. Mine, now 16 and 18, still garden with us. It is a time to be together - working- and talking. I think they talk more, especially about important topics- while they are doing something. Sending sunshine and the perfect amount of spring showers your way!

  4. Megan's line "my heart pumps with love for you" IS poetic and wise! Those spoken words are a gift in themselves. I too, love flowers and spring. They do bring joy and have a magical way a of fading the sadness. Here's to you and a springtime filled with flowers and gardening, Kathleen! Thanks for sharing!

  5. You have carried your sadness with great dignity. It cannot have been easy, with all the things that you do in the world for others, to carry on despite what happened. I agree with "anonymous" who wrote it's a time for you to be tender with yourself and allow yourself to grieve. My daughter and I always say to each other: What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Those words have sustained us through many near-tragic circumstances. Plant those flowers, feel sad for the innocence you and your family have lost, look ahead to the next chapter of your life. Gardening has become a way to bond for my two grown children, much to my surprise. So get out those garden tools and start digging!


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