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Born in the US, raised on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, lived in Italy, the US, and Canada. Lover of language, travel, colour, and the natural world.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The language of flowers

The sun is shining through my window as I write this. It is yet another clear blue hot sunny day here in California. I am sipping a hot cup of tea with milk and honey. The flowers in the photo above are ones I planted from seed, grew, and harvested from the youth garden at Soil Born Farm, where I volunteer. Over the last few weeks Guy has invited me to harvest vegetables and flowers to take home. There is something magical about flowers that you grow with your own hands. Flowers that you have seen in a garden, peering at you over the tomato vines, buzzing with feeding bees in the sunshine after the drip irrigation has gone off and everything smells sweet. I experience all of that when I look at this vase of flowers on the table.

I am started reading a novel late last night called The Language of Flowers: A Novel, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I had seen a review of the book in the paper, and then last night I came out to dinner and there it was, sitting on my chair at the dinner table, a gift from my mother. After a weekend of working all day and half the night both Saturday and Sunday researching an article that is due to an editor on Wednesday, it was heavenly to be able to climb into bed last night with a new novel, especially one with such a gorgeous title.

I have been practicing gratitude lately. I keep thinking that I will forget, but every night before I fall asleep I lie in bed and come up with five things I was grateful for that day. Last night I was totally exhausted, and feeling slightly frustrated by how long the research for the article I am working on was taking me, so I was surprised when I managed to come up with my list relatively quickly (yes, sometimes I have to really think. Hard).

My list last night was:

1. The delicious supper of pasta and large, colourful salad that my parents prepared last night while I worked on my research.
2. The novel that my mom had sitting on my chair when I came out to join them for supper.
3. That I am another day closer to finishing this article I am working on, which is in a genre that I am realizing has taught me a lot about writing and editing, but is not bringing me as much joy as writing about food and drink or more creative fiction or non-fiction pieces. I am grateful that I have persisted in getting this article written even though it is has been a bit grueling.
4. The way the sun shone through the trees and dusted the back garden late yesterday afternoon when I wandered outside barefoot for a breath of fresh air, and to look at the sky for a while, instead of my computer screen.
5. My parents. Their never-ending love and support no matter what. 

I have been noticing that taking the time to be grateful is slowly but surely increasing my conscious awareness of the good things in my life. The light. Friends. My family. It is definitely making things shift. I am not sure how this will reverberate out into other areas of life, but I will keep you posted. For now however, I am going to sign off, enjoy the rest of my cuppa tea, and tune into my dear friend Ahava Shira's Monday afternoon radio show, Love in the Afternoon (1pm, every Monday).

I think I already know what one of my five things on today's list is going to be :-)

Have a great, gratitude-filled week friends!!


  1. I love your gratitude Monday posts! I am about to start a journal as we speak and the first page is all going to be about GRATITUDE :)

  2. Hello!

    I wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog last week and leaving me such a supportive comment. I loved the link from Bahieh's blog and have saved it to read again for inspiration as needed. Thank you again... this is my favorite part of blogging, meeting such awesome new people! :)


  3. @ Shauntelle: So happy that Bahieh's blog post resonated with you. She's a wise woman, that one!! All the best with your writing!!