The thoughts in my head seem to veer easily from the ridiculous to the sublime. While last week found me musing shallowly about my figure in a bathing suit, today I am pondering the wonders of nature. Maybe my current location on the Gulf Coast of Florida is helping turn my mind to growing things. Aside from the balmy Florida breezes, there is color! The lush green of grass and palm trees, the riot of colorful flowers peeking out from verdant bushes. The flowers especially caught my eye as I walked off my pancake breakfast this morning under a hazy sky.
Have you ever really looked at a flower? It is like a coquettish maiden cloaking her beauty until she feels ready to open herself up to her lover. Take the demure rose with her petals closed around her like a cloche cap. But when she opens up, watch out. She exposes her folds of passionate red or the blushing pink of a bride on her wedding day. The happy day lily goes undercover at night, folding her silky robe around herself. I particularly love the huge hibiscus flowers in vibrant colors of red, pink, and yellow. Back home, I must wait until late summer to enjoy their blossoms, but in warm weather climes, they can be found amid their bright green leaves on roadside shrubs or tucked behind the ear of a Hawaiian woman performing her native dance, the hula.
The hibiscus is not shy. Its wide petals open to the long stamen and pistil, aggressively thrusting themselves outward to be pollinated. Flowers contain both male and female sex organs, needing only the roving legs and soft underbellies of bees and other pollinators to be fertilized. Kinky, right?
Flowers have all kinds of ways to attract the attention of these pollen-transferring insects. Their colors, their smells, the sweet nectar hiding deep inside their nectaries. Is it any wonder that flowers speak the language of love?
There are so many extravagantly beautiful things in nature – the sky at dawn, a mountain peak, a rainbow, a peacock with feathers unfurled. And flowers in all their variety add color, beauty and sensuality to our world.
It’s no wonder the adage tell us to stop and smell them.