Many years ago the an association of florists came up with the tag line, “Say it with flowers.” Here the stores are full of red roses by the dozen ready to hand to one’s Valentine. They are meant, I suppose, to say “love.” Some people will be thrilled to receive them, some less so. Some will be given with love, some out of some sense of obligation. Here the commercial climate seems to demand that you hand your love something, whether flowers, candy, gifts or jewelry. Advertisements for all fill the news.
I treasure not a bouquet on Valentine’s Day, but a gift of flowers that my husband provides me with each summer. In spring I buy packets of annual flower seed that I love. I draw him a little diagram of how I would like them planted, numbering each packet with a corresponding spot in the flower bed. He has put compost on the bed in the fall and now gets the soil ready as soon as it thaws out. Around the beginning of June he will go out to the plot, lay boards down to designate sections, and painstakingly plant hundreds of flower seeds just as my map requests. All summer long from late June through the first killing frost in October I am rewarded with a blanket of blooms such as the zinnias above from last summer. I feel loved by him every time I step out the back door and see the dazzling display.
There are many ways to tell someone of our love. May each of us find a way to show the people in our lives how we feel. And let’s not get hoodwinked by ads telling us that there is only one right way to do it.