Sunday, October 4, 2009

bringing beauty home

i have this texas sage bush right outside my door. and i have occasionally brougt a few branches indoor for the last month. they look pretty.

a long while back someone wrote on a blog (and i cannot remember which, sorry), that bringing home flowers, as much as it gave her pleasure, it was also like watching slow death as the beautiful, colorful flowers would fade, wrinkle and ultimately die.

the thought has stayed with me. that it is somehow selfish and cruel to cut them and take them home, just for my own pleasure. but i still do it.


i am a collector of beautiful objects found in nature. shells, stones, bird nests, seeds, pieces of wood, branches, leaves... you name it, and it probably made its way to my home or garden. some things i keep, put on display or turn into little pieces of art. like mobiles or collages. others i just bring home, place somewhere in the garden to look at for a while, and let nature or coincidence decide what to do.

this beautiful post by janis, and the comments that followed, made me think about this urge to bring the beauty home, to make it mine. i don't think i will stop collecting, but i might be more careful in the future. the flowers, though, will still make their way to my living room table. they look pretty.


  1. Until you mentioned Janis' post, I just couldn't believe the oddity of blogosphere synergy! About the concept of flowers having a cycle and dying, I like the beuty of fresh flowers, and also of wilted vegetation and dry flowers alike. I love the emerald green of spring grass, but also the golden yellow of the same grass in the fall. Bringing flowers home (without harming the mother plant) is a tribute to nature. I'm heading over to see the other comments on Janis' post.
    PS Actually, I came to say that I haven't forgotten about your recipe, but I seem to have forgotten where I've seen it! I'll find it, eventually.

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  3. Beautiful flowers and a very thoughtful post. It made me think of something odd: something that really bothers me about the way American houses (or at least Californian houses) are constructed is that they have no windows sills, the walls just aren't thick enough for that. I never knew how much I've used window sills for display of nature things and other knick knacks until I didn't have any!!

  4. francesca: i was wondering if you forgot me ;) if you manage to find the recipe i'm still interested. and you know, i think i agree with you in terms of honoring nature. that's what i'll tell myself next time :)

    ida: yes! it's the same here - no window sills. and it can still drive me crazy. we have been talking about buying land and building our own house. and on the top of my wish list is wooden floors and window sills :) not very common around here and i miss it so much too.

  5. Trinsch - thank you for your thoughtful post and comment. I've been thinking about this subject and the difference between those who collect with care and thoughtfulness, and then those who hoard and consume without a thought ... big difference. From observing your blog and photos, it seems as though you are very respectful and mindful in your gatherings. From your words and photos I see such tenderness ... and your cut flowers and shells must be happy to be in your hands...

  6. I've had conflicting thoughts, too, about our collecting. Thank you for this thoughtful post.

  7. oh trinsch..; as usual here, so much beauty...

  8. Lovely and thoughtful post. As someone who has spent a great deal of my life in the wilderness, I am a proponent of the "leave only footprints, take only pictures" ethic. It's possible that I have become a bit obsessive with the "taking pictures" part, but that's my way of collecting, and it isn't doing anyone any harm.
    Have a small child, however, has given new life to the simpler kind of collecting - that which has to do with getting to know the world around you. Now that she is just old enough to go for walks with us, it is such a great pleasure to gather things with her - a handful of fallen leaves, a pinecone, a feather. My mother, a painter of birds, has always been a collector of old nests that have fallen from trees (she loves to walk in the woods).
    As for flowers - I have that same sadness about watching something die - particularly with bought flowers. However, it's a bit different when you can pick them from your own garden, because you know the lifespan of the plant - when the flowers will die of their own accord, how much bloom it will have during any given season. To pick a bloom or two now and then - that seems alright to me.

  9. i'll have to read that post, tho' i'll admit to a bit of fear about reading something that might put me off of my stone collecting obsession. :-) it feels like such a part of me and i can see a lot of other people around the blogosphere feel that way too. on the other hand, it's good to respect the earth.

    but flowers? i love to bring them inside from my own garden, but it's true i don't buy them very often, there is something sad about watching them die, but for some reason i feel less badly about it when they grew in my own garden.