I did not need to walk far from the farm to find another reminder of how flower lovers come to be. After the rather large presence of my grandmother passed away, my grandfather built a sweet cottage across the rural gravel road from the farm, Polish style. He retired from the dairy farm to this quaint dwelling with no running water in his later years seeming to like it that way. He was not fussy about things as long as he had his gardens, the house just a place to read books, eat and sleep. There was something magical about the hand cut decorative touches he had made to the blue and white structure, the design spoke to artistry and also to his roots from another time and place.
Grandpa was surely a creative builder of things. He was also an artist who loved flowers. I could see it. In front of the cottage was a carefully constructed rock garden surrounded by a picket fence, Polish style. All types and sorts of beautiful rocks he had hand selected from the ditches and fields, each carefully placed through the rich black dirt, one large then one small. There were violets peeking around corners and stretching out from hidden places, my favorite flower in this garden, the royal purple Siberian iris with the bright yellow center. I loved the wonder of it all, the magic was everywhere.
Sitting atop one of the ordinary rocks, like an important sculptural work of art was a yellow stone in the shape of a bird. In my heart I knew it was an important rock, it was foreign to the place, the surface permeated by tiny holes similar to those you might see on lava rock or something from the moon. Standing there next to the garden in my small shoes I would ask myself, "Is it a bird, or is it not?", then a person or a child would let the imagination take over. It is perhaps why my imagination remains so strong, it being nurtured in such a positive way so early in life. I was fortunate to know flower lovers. They were like me.
From FLOWER FARMER, a collection of short flower stories emanating from the bud.