Yesterday I made the long trek from town back to my home beside the little river. It's a rather dreary walk, with a clutter of bored houses on one side and copious traffic on the other. I was just doing it, and infact reading on my phone as I did it - merely getting home. But at one moment luckily I glanced up, and everything changed. I saw the white jasmine.
I'd gathered flowers from this bush a couple of weeks ago, and so it was with the delight of a friend that I hurried to it again, shared heartsong with its leaves, gathered several of its gentle star flowers. Returning to my walk, I felt myself lighter with the happiness of carrying flowers.
Then I saw camellias. And the last of some frilly blue flowers whose name I don't know. I stopped to visit a lavender bush which has been so often my only friend on this walk. I caught sight of a pale pink briar rose in someone's garden and had to pause a while and blink back tears. Winter roses have a hallowed beauty, I think - as if the old cold goddess is dreaming of the young bride she will soon become.
I could not gather the rose, and am not sure I would have wanted to in any case - flowers from bushes are one thing, but not even I could take the last rose of winter. Besides, I had enough. I walked on to the village with my large bouquet of wayside flowers.
And past me went the ordinary people. In cafes sat the ordinary people. The people who do not gather flowers, nor tuck them into their hair. The people who give me strange looks because I do so; because I wear dresses and walk along with my nose in a book. I live in a land where almost no one plants flower gardens. Funnily enough, the only people I see reading on buses or in cafes are men (perhaps wanting to be hot dudes). No one hugs books, wears daisy chains, goes barefoot. Bouquets are things you obtain in the store, for the purpose of giving to hospitalised friends or to have in a vase on the dining room table. Despite many people telling me how much they love Anne of Green Gables, no one seems to show her enchanted spirit. I can't recollect ever seeing a kindred spirit on the streets or in the malls.
And so I ask those of you who love flowers - carry them. Those of you who love adjectives and linguistic graces and the old poems of the world - speak them. Fly your lovely flag, so that kindred spirits out there can see it, and know they are not alone.