This year, I learned to appreciate flowers.
I grew up in a home with flowers. Each summer, my mother would pick up flowers from our garden, and it would always lighten her up. My father would show me songs and literature that would teach me about poetry of flowers. ‘Gol’ in Farsi. Gol was the metaphor for naïve love and hopeful existence in the songs my father would show me, and at the same time a symbol of beauty that was implicitly manifested in my mother’s joy.
By now, I realize that flowers were scaring me before. They seemed to me as pompous objects that were doomed to wither; a temporary beauty what would only last for few days when picked. Each spring, they would bloom and attract summer. Then they would die, and autumn would arrive. Once they were picked, they would continuously become more lethargic and radiate a melancholic atmosphere of nostalgia; for me, they would become symbols of aging youth and lusterless detritus. Now, I understand that flowers were manifesting my anxiety for aging. They confronted me with what I had to lose and what I
would eventually become.
Appreciation of flowers is synonymous with naivety; both require us to allow hopes for something that is logically hopeless. Picking up flowers is synonymous with understanding the value of illogicality and spontaneity. To recognize the value of flowers, we must allow ourselves to stop focusing on functionalism and start appreciating the symbolism of momentary beauty.
Now, I dry my flowers. I watch them dry and their colors mature; I watch them become statues of memories. This year, I understood that momentariness is the naivety that constitutes the essence of youthfulness, and that it can be perceived by learning to appreciate flowers.
- Parmida Rezai