“She embodied freedom amidst the flowers.” ~Jennifer
By now, it’s no secret that I love flowers. They are a part of my being. They are my attachment to the past, my link to everyday life, and the garland of dreams that connects me to the future. I feel a spark of inspiration when I see, touch, and smell flowers. I experience an amazing sense of liberation when I stand in a meadow blooming with Queen Anne’s lace, echinacea, aster, and cosmos.
Certain flowers remind me of life stages through which I have passed. To this day, lavender means freedom to me. Those spiky purple stalks take me back to my first summer study abroad and the lavender fields whizzing by the windows of the TGV as I traveled to the south of France. When it came time to go home, I filled my suitcase with dried lavender flowers in sachets of provencal fabric to give as souvenirs and to keep as fragrant reminders of my experiences.
In subsequent years, I would return to France for employment. Each trip was an adventure, sometimes frightening but always freeing. One summer I took a day trip to an island covered in lavender fields. Another summer, I stood in awe when thousands of lavender pots were placed in the Place des Vosges for a festival. Each time I returned to the US, my bags were bursting with lavender sachets and bottles of lavender oil.
Now that I am the mother of two small children, I don’t have much free time at all. And so, when I need a bit of solitude, I step outside. During the summer months, I am lured to our lavender bushes. They hum with the buzzing of bees and they sway ever so gently in the hot breeze. The majestic purple color and the pungent scent transport me to a time and place of freedom. They ground my physical self in the present, they conjure up fond memories of the past, and they ignite my imagination with thoughts of what is yet to come.