To See a Flower Face to Face

By Linda Wiggen Kraft,
Healthy Planet Green & Growing Editor

In my work as a garden designer I am asked to create a unity of flowers, foliage and plants so that the whole of the garden has a rhythm, beauty, grace and joy when viewed up close as well as from afar. Because I spend so much time thinking and working in the mode of seeing the entire garden I have to consciously take time to look upon, smell and enjoy the beauty and grace of a single flower, stem or leaf. I need to take the time to see a flower face to face.

When I take the time to really see a flower, I am always amazed at how one flower can bring so much joy and centering of my soul. I have a theory that humans have an unconscious spiritual experience when looking closely at a flower. Flowers are like the mandalas used in different religious traditions that help people transcend from the finite to the infinite. Mandalas are often painted colorful symmetrical patterned images. By viewing a mandala one can become closer to Creator. Although man made mandalas are beautiful, they pale in comparison to the living color, pattern and beauty of a single flower. Perhaps they also pale in comparison to a flower in their ability to help us consciously and unconsciously transcend from the finite to the infinite.

The times I most come face to face with a flower are when I weed and care for a garden, and when I bring them inside. Some of my most pleasurable moments are when I am crawling on my hands and knees in my garden reaching for a weed to pull. In this humbled position I am often taken by surprise with the beauty of a flower. I feel the soft coolness of petals as they brush against my skin. I smell the fragrance of earth and plants. I see the finest intricate details in large and small flowers alike and sense the infinite in their finite beauty. For me, weeding is always a joy.

I find even greater joy though when I cut flowers and bring them inside. Having a vase full of flowers, or even one single blossom, from my own garden brings a living beauty and grace to my time spent indoors. I pick flowers from early spring through late fall. Some last only a day or less, like daylilies or morning glories. Others last for weeks like gooseneck loosestrife, gomphrena or salvia. Some are tiny like the minty calamintha, or huge like angel’s trumpet datura. My favorites are the old-fashioned annuals like cosmos, cleome, sunflowers and zinnias.

I love having flowers in all the rooms of my house, but my favorite place for a vase is on my desk next to the computer. My desk is the center of busyness. It is command center for the seemingly millions of details of personal and professional life. The very presence of a vase of flowers on the desk exudes a serenity that permeates my conscious and unconscious awareness, my desk, my computer, my office and all my life in that moment. As I look at flowers in the garden and inside, I am brought back to the awareness that life is about living with rhythm, beauty, grace and joy. Without flowers, I often lose that awareness. Fortunately, summer is just beginning. My life will be full of flowers for months and months to come.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer of holistic and organic gardens. She is also an artist and creativity workshop leader. Her next art workshop is July 22nd. Find out more, subscribe to her blog and Instagram at www.CreativityForTheSoul.com, Call her at 314 504-4266.