Monday, June 15, 2009

Where this stuff comes from

I have a garden. Fulla flowers. Only in the last few years have I been able to allow myself to Go Out and Cut Them for us to enjoy in the house.

I finally realized why. When I was in my late teens and between jobs, I volunteered to help my folks out by keeping up the house while they cut brush one fall. I so did not want to get into brush cutting-- it was a nightmare, for many reasons. Anyway. I cleaned, I cooked, I polished, took out the coal clinkers from the furnace, mowed the grass. Supper was waiting on the table when they came in.

One day in early fall I noticed that the marigolds my mother had tended all summer were blooming, and thought, wouldnt that be pretty, to have those on the table as a centerpiece. So I cut a few, and set them in the middle of the table. My dad walked in and said, oh don't those look NICE. My mother saw them and said, "what did you DO? Why did you cut those flowers? Now no one will have anything to look at when they go by the house."

I was stunned, and hurt. I also realized at that point that mother didn't do anything for her own pleasure, she only got pleasure from people telling her how pretty her dress was, how nice the house looked, how pretty the flowers out front looked. She only saw things through other people's opinions. The fact that a handful of marigolds had been cut and brought into the house meant that a handful of marigolds was hidden from the people who mattered. *g*

She asked me, more than once, why I bothered with a flower garden up here, since "no one can see you from the road". I said, "Mother, I can see it, and I'm the one I plant this for." I truly think she just didnt understand that point of view.

But it explains my own gentle reluctance to take shears in hand and cut flowers to enjoy inside.


  1. now that might be a poem's seed, Judy. Not nudging, just noticing.

  2. i understand the notice, and the nudge, and it's okay. most things are seeds for something, mike, and one day it will surface, Im sure, if I live long enough. It might be one line in another poem, (took me years to get Queen Anne's Lace in one, lol) or a trigger for something else. No way of knowing, but you're right. It's a seed.

    and I do appreciate the noticing.

  3. This post made me very sad, both for you as a teenager and for your mother who couldn't enjoy that beauty for herself. May flowers always grace your table.

  4. aww, it wasnt made to make anyone sad, but i do understand that. It makes me sad to think of how much she missed in life, waiting for the wrong train, never seeing anything through her own eyes.

    But it taught me a great deal--other people's opinions matter only as much as you want them to, and you learn to do what makes YOU feel good, for your own reasons. Not always an easy road, but it does work.

    And yes, LJ, I make a point of having flowers in the house all summer. That'll show her. *g*