When I was in grammar school I made necklaces out of flowers. I would create little slits in the stem of one flower, slide the stem of another through it, and continue with this pattern until it was long enough to wrap around my neck.
During those years, every May first, we’d celebrate May Day by picking bushels of flowers and place one flower on as many doorsteps as we could. I loved this ritual, and how much joy it brought to residents.
It wasn’t long before I learned the true purpose of flowers, which wasn’t to make necklaces or put on people’s doorsteps –but to pollinate the world. Flowers, it turned out, are part of the reproductive system of the world.
Women have eggs and fallopian tubes, men, testes and sperm; the world has flowers and insects. There’s quite a bit of cooperation necessary to keep the world and its life forms in circulation, I can’t help but wonder how the flower, in its countless displays of beauty, got reduced to necklaces and bouquets.
When I think of flowers in terms of the bigger, global picture, it seems silly that we would pluck them from their practical locations, making them null and void to the earth’s reproduction system, only to enjoy their beauty for a limited time, which is about how long they take to wilt.
A delicious spinach and feta omelet comes to mind when I consider how many other ways we humans utilize aspects of procreation, for our own good. It may not matter, which came first, the chicken or the egg, when at the end of the day, the real question is, chick or omelet.
For some reason I’m not surprised by the increase of infertility amongst women, when I think of how many ways we humans distract and diminish the reproductive value of several life forms, including our own. I’m not suggesting a karma dilemma, rather, an overall interference of systems that otherwise work.
I find it ironic that one of the gestures made when courting a potential partner is to offer a bouquet of flowers – taking and interfering from one reproductive system to aide and abed with another. How romantic is that!