Flower Talk

Hard to believe that this flower has lasted for two weeks. We were on our way out of the farmers market. I doubled back for a jar of homemade peach jam while Martin headed to the car. Except he didn’t. He met me at the entrance with this gorgeous glowing scarlet zinnia in hand. It matched the flowers on my skirt.

I adore zinnias. Ever since fourth grade when Mrs. Lyle sat a vase of them on her desk, I have been in love with how saturated with color they are. Pink, yellow, orange, red, I swoon over them all.  And there my  husband stood with this single crimson blossom. I still smile at his gesture.

We came home and I put it in the vase you see there at the left. Something about the three colors together — the intense red, the cobalt of the liquer bottle and that little virgule of green — just made my heart sing. How does a single blossom last so long? I bought an entire bouquet earlier in the summer, and they barely made it to mid-week.  But this flower is magic. Maybe because she knows she was bought as a love gift? I had Martin take a photograph to preserve the memory although in truth, it’s unforgettable.

My husband, as many of you know, takes lots of photographs.  And if you know he takes photographs, you know that “lots” is an understatement.  For some time now I’ve wanted to join forces and put words to some of his images.  I’ve started small. Every once in a while when something really speaks to me I take a few moments to meditate on what he has captured.  If you like, come visit                 his lens/my pen.

In Victorian times the zinnia was symbolic of absence or sorrow. Probably because wild zinnias — dingy purple or muddy yellow —  weren’t much to look at. The flower has undergone some heavy duty cultivation since their discovery by Spanish conquistadors conquistadoring through Mexico.  For me, they have always been symbolic of joy. And now of a sweet moment of affection in the farmer’s market, too.

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7 thoughts on “Flower Talk

  1. Judi A.

    I love the brilliant colors of Zinnias and always planted tons of them for the last hurrah of summer/fall when I lived in MI and had flower gardens. They would always bring a smile to my face and to my soul. I had to have them scattered around the house in all kinds of vases and make-shift vases to greet me each time I turned a corner or entered a room. I love the brilliance of your red Zinnia and your wonderful choice of vase for such a treasure. 🙂

  2. Debra

    Judi and Milhan,
    So glad to know you are zinnia lovers, too. There is something about them that is just so energizing. I swoon over delphinium, too but it’s a different feeling! And lilacs….we have an overgrown shrub that cascades each spring. As for the cobalt vase. It held limoncello in another life. Some sort of great lemon liqueur my step mother had! Yum!

  3. Leah Rubin

    My special relationship to zinnias dates from my years before I was old enough for school. Our neighbor, a woman who was more than old enough to be my grandmother had a lovely garden, and I would ‘help’ her with the watering can at the zinnias. At the end of the season, she taught me to harvest the seeds from the heads, and we put them into jars to be planted the next spring. Love…

  4. Elissa Schwartz

    I have known you and Martin for a very long time and have always found that you both have warm and compassionate hearts. How heart-warming to hear about Martin’s simple, yet compelling, gesture of love and affection toward you, Debra. The love you have for zinnias is only enhanced by the love that Martin showed in his thoughtful gift.

  5. Laurie Pappas

    Debra, You are just brilliant in your descriptions of the zinnias, and I continue to marvel at your thoughtful comments on the little, but precious, things of life. To look out of your eyes is a treat to all of us readers. Keep the beautiful words coming! Hope all is well with you, Martin, and the kids! Happy New Year!

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