a glass box of water with pink lilies, twisting roots, and a floating gardenia. it came days in advance, and sat on the table beside my bed. the beauty and the perfume sweetened my dreams and cleared my heart.
on the way out the door to my healing circle, she said, she spontaneously snipped the last black iris from her garden. i left it on the altar when i went to the hospital. when i came home, the petals had curled and dried, and the plumblack ink had spilled beautiful droplets onto the golden wood floor of my studio.
lying in my hospital bed, just an hour or two awake again after the surgery, a knock. and a man with a round glass vase, and round flowers: pink fist-sized peonies, little white hydrangeas, purple blossoms on spikes. a gift from the one person who i had visited in this hospital before coming myself, on the day that her daughter was born. i stood outside the door and heard her daughter's birth.
another knock, and another stranger bearing burgundy dahlias with brilliant yellow tulips.
and then friends began to come, blossoms in hand. orange tulips with sharp yellow tips like flame. fat dark pink roses mixed with something like a tiger. fresh lavender grown on the farm that grows my food. a riot like the fire between us: orange roses, orange and yellow tulips, something ivory in threes. orange tulips! more! round ones now, almost a ball, and some quality that makes me long to pop them into my mouth. something with a face like a daisy or a sunflower, fat and red and yellow, with different purple spikes, fuzzy ones. lavender from the garden where the iris grew. a fat peach rose from her garden, and a jumble of little white ones with yellow pollen on their faces.
and the peonies. oh, the peonies. they came the first day, fat, pink, nearly as big as my head! the second day they shined, just as pink, the petals a bit more lush and open. the third day the pink grew paler, mostly, but brighter at the tips of most of the petals. the first night at home, on the mantle, i swear to you they were glowing in the dark. then they turned peach. then golden. finally, they were ivory with orange flame at the tips. for days i lay in bed, so quiet, in the healing place between sleeping and waking, then sleeping, then waking. the air was warm, the windows were open. i never played any music. i just listened to the sounds of my neighbors, and the soft sound as hunks of petals fell, the peonies
falling apart into everything.
the final flower: me. cleansed, new. shining with your love as brightly as these blossoms.
i offer the blossoms back to you:
may you be free. may we all be free. may we blossom and burn. may we spill our ink upon the ground. may our existence be given in love and service. may we fall apart