Robin Hawke

July 21, 2011, 10:22 PM
Filed under: Emotions, Life and Stuff | Tags: , ,

It’s hotter than any day last summer. I went outside to see how my plants were faring and discovered the flowers were cheery and their leaves yellowed prematurely. My dog loped around, glad for a chance to sniff for the scents of twin fawns that have lost their mother to a road hazard. I cut yarrow and zinnia, cosmos and goldenrod. (I’ve learned to strip the leaves in the field, so they don’t litter the bottom of my sink, turning into a gooey mess.)

Inside, the air conditioner runs without stop. I snipped the stem of one bloom and placed it in a vase. One by one, I held up each flower against the arrangement in progress, determined its height and cut it accordingly.

My mother-in-law taught me not to snip flowers the same height. To this day, I don’t gather flowers without remembering that sage advice. For a few moments, I reflect on how much she loved her own garden and hope I didn’t forget to teach my daughters the same lesson.