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Pure joy

I sat in Raglan’s, The Shack café the other day, having my regular order of a flat white coffee with a woman I had never met before, but knew of through mutual friends. She had flown into Raglan in a small plane as a special treat from a friend, someone I also knew. 

She asked what I did for work. When I told her I was a local florist here in Raglan, not only did her eyes light up, but her entire face also beamed with joy. She told me of her newfound love – flowers! Flower growing to be specific. Having left behind her profession of years of being a nurse, she had been looking for something to do with her days and had begun growing flowers. For those of you who do the same, you know already how addictive this is and the absolute joy it brings. I could read the excitement in her face as she told me about the flowers she had planted, the anticipation of them blooming, her plan to expand and what she was going to be growing next, the areas on her lifestyle block that had previously been mowed grass that were now beds of flowers, the creative ideas she had of what to plant flowers into around her home, and so on. Her words and her face both spoke of what was in her heart – pure joy! 

Today, I was talking with a young girl-friend. She was keeping me company in my home workshop as I unpacked the fresh flower order I had just received by courier from Bloombrokers, my fresh flower wholesaler in Auckland. It is wintertime as I write this, and the flowers I had ordered were mainly early spring flowers that are grown here in New Zealand. She commented, “I love having flowers in my home in winter when outside is dull and cold”. 

Flowers bring joy! Flowers are positive mood-boosters. Their beauty, their scent, their representation of pure nature somehow touches our emotions with their quiet grace. They cultivate within us creativity and beauty. They speak a language that goes beyond words. Their diverse colours, shapes, textures and even personalities have the ability to cause positive chemical reactions inside of us. Flowers stimulate dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin in our brains. These are our ‘happy’ chemicals, and whenever we see or receive flowers, we respond with an emotional response, like a smile, or as with my two friends, utter joy and pleasure.

I had a floristry tutor who took up floral art after the loss of her husband. She found that in flowers, she was able to deal with her grief. Flowers allowed her to see joy in her life during her season of great sadness.

The painter Claude Monet said, “I must have flowers always and always”. He loved - more than that, he needed - to be surrounded by the beauty of flowers because they inspired him to create beauty, which was his own personal life's purpose. 

Some will say that they don’t buy flowers because they don’t last long. Though true, this fact about flowers is life-inspirational. Yes, they wilt, yes, they die, yes, their vase life may only be a few days or a few weeks, but in this we realise that life too is a series of moments, cycles of living and dying, and seasons of growing and resting. They teach us of nurturing and the fight for life, of the rhythms and patterns of nature and our precious natural environment. And so I am okay about the short life of a flower, and there is always another in its place to provoke my dopamine addiction to flowers.

I, along with my girl-friends, my tutor, my flower lovers and growers, and with Monet, passionately have to say that,

“I must have flowers, always and always”


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