stop and smell the flowers

stop and smell the flowers

I think I can tie the origin of my love for flowers back to my grammy and auntie, and their house. If I had to pick a place where the love began, that’s probably it.

My grammy and aunt lived together AND super close-by growing up, and my sister and I spent lots of time at their house when we were in elementary school. Their house was essentially a second home to us. We’d hang out there after school until our parents were out of work, we’d end up there at some point most weekends, and we spent lots of time there during the summer while our parents worked. 

Their house was surrounded by fields, woods, and even a creek. And while I have plenty of memories from inside the house, I have just as many from outside. Memories of my grandmother teaching us about birds and their calls, chats about different flowers and trees we were seeing, memories of swinging so high on the swing that my grandmother would get stern with me.

Anyway, this spring I’ve been taking lots of walks and reconnecting with my love of flowers (check out some photos of them in the cover image). I love walking in general, but my hidden agenda for recent walks has been to. . . sincerely stop and smell the flowers. Stop and notice their particular beauty. Stop and not only be present to, but connect with the natural beauty that is always around us waiting to be connected with.

In honor of springtime and flowers and their beauty, I wanted to share some musings on some of my favorite flowers.

Cherry Blossoms —

In my life cherry blossoms represent the second half of my life that I’ve lived in the DMV area, particularly the seven years that I lived in DC without a car.

Daffodils — 

I think my love for daffodils formed and solidified only in recent weeks. I don’t remember previously having had the kind of regard or reverence for them that I do now. Daffodils were the first flowers I noticed popping up this spring through all of the dead leaves. I love how fearless they are in the face of the end of winter. I love how many varieties there are. And, they’re just so sunny looking!

Dandelions — 

I now often think of Kelli Danaker when I see dandelions. She offered a Time for All Ages at some point since I started working here on their everyday resilience and beauty and well, it stuck, in a good way for me. 

Johnny Jump Ups aka Wild Pansies —

I associate these with my grandmother. She loved and grew regular-sized pansies of all colors, but I always particularly loved the wild pansies that popped up all around the yard. 

Lilacs — 

What is better than the smell of lilacs? Okay, realistically many things… but lilacs are the best. My grammy and aunt had a few bushes outside of their house and I remember heading outside with the sole intention of wanting to smell and hang out by them. I feel grounded when I am near them.

Which flowers do you love and why? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

With love,
Sara (they/she)

P.S. Griffin’s first word was flower… just felt like I had to add that in.

9 Comments

  1. Gail Thompson

    I love those tiny wild pansies that grew each year in my former yard. They came first before the dandelions. In summer the memory changed to the hard knobs left behind which my bare feet found every time. It was sad in Spring when we had to mow for the first time.

  2. Jen Raffensperger

    Forsythia! They are so eager and ready to blossom any time! They remind me hope is never wasted.

  3. Kathy Parker

    Rhododendron — exquisitely beautiful, mounted on expansive branches that grow taller every year. Favorites in my yard each summer.

  4. Norman D. Hazzard

    As a young boy in early springtime, I liked going to the woods behind our house and picking a small bouquet of wild flowers growing there. I never knew their names, though. Then I walked up across the pasture to my grandparents farmhouse and gave them to my grandmother. She always welcomed me like visiting royalty, and she made me a piece of homemade bread and jam.

  5. Nicole Guimarães

    Flower fan here! I loved this post, Sarah! 💜 I also have flowers that bring me memories, people, places… one of them is called “Ipê Amarelo”. This tree and its flowers are usually present in the center of Brazil.

    Hugs,
    Nicole 🙂

  6. Suzanne Henig

    Honeysuckle has got to be one of the best summer scents. We used to pull the flower and taste the nectar when we were kids. I’m not sure if it was the native or invasive honeysuckle but its scent was heavenly.

  7. Inge Hyder

    I love Lily of the Valley and their great sweet odor! In the village of Consdorf, Luxembourg, where my family and I lived for two years,
    these flowers were all over the woods — so lovely! I now have them in my back yard and am looking forward to their popping up.

    Thanks for the (revival of) memories, Sarah!

  8. Cindy

    I have forget me knots that were transplanted from my grandmothers garden and I think of her with love when they bloom like now. She has been gone a long time but her plants continue to grow.

  9. Becky Reese

    Daffodils! I have a lush patch of daffodils in our patio terrace garden that were transplanted from my grandmother’s garden and backyard woods in Pennsylvania. Growing up, I loved to see the thousands of daffodils, in a variety of colors pop up and adorn the planting beds and in patches throughout the woods. It’s part of my spring experience, and the best part of the Easter season to me.
    Lilly of the Valley is another favorite of mine, Inge. Suzanne, YES, I also have fond childhood memories of sucking the nectar from honeysuckle as well.

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