Flower of Mine

Flower of Mine

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!


2 thoughts on “Flower of Mine

  1. Thanks Deb – what’s funny is a few times I wanted to reign myself in for fear of sounding like I’m going ‘too far’. But the fact of the matter, is, I think about the interconnectedness of us all, all the time. As with this blog, it took the writing process to iron out some of my own thoughts.
    Haha….that’s cool that you gross out your students, it’ll help them remember the lessons, and you.


  2. GJ — wonderful reflection! Most people I know have thought I take things “too far” when I talk about how we (particularly people interested in ecopsych) pick (kill) flowers for our own enjoyment without regard to the consequences of our action to the living plant. I’ve come to be OK with the idea of cutting flowers from plants that continue to produce them — more like giving them a haircut) but not for plants that produce a single bloom.

    And I love the giving reproductive items to those with who we seek to reproduce!! Ha!

    When I was teaching biology I used to gross out my students when I would tell them that when eating fruit they are actually eating the ovaries of the plant!! (Yes, I admit, I enjoyed grossing out teenagers every once in awhile!)


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