I used to be really opposed to flowers, as I didn’t see the point of cutting down something living just to put it in a vase and watch it die. But then in September of 2019, I moved to Toronto for the publishing program at Centennial College. One of the few required texts for the course was the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. I had planned to just order it from the campus bookstore, fully prepared to pay for the convenience of picking it up on site. But after spending the day with my folks roaming around my new neighbourhood, we popped into a thrift shop to look for some essentials. It was there in the basement, alongside all the other dusty books, and discarded furniture, that my Mom pulled out a copy of the very dictionary I needed.
Afterwards, I placed it on my shelf and forgot about it until the course started and I needed to lug the 1888-page hardcover to school. So it wasn’t until weeks later when I flipped through the pages that I discovered some perfectly pressed flowers, like a gift left from the previous owner.
Suddenly, flowers were not something that just lived and died, but something that could actually be preserved. There were no notes attached to the two sheets of papier ongion the flowers were pressed within, but I started to imagine the particular field they may have come from, and who had placed them in the book, and for what purpose. Were they saving the flowers for someone? Were they supposed to become art? Needless to say, my imagination was sparked. And the symbolism of a seed being planted was not lost on me. So, I think I’ll start buying myself flowers. And if you’re ever in a thrift shop, take a glance through the dusty books it looks like no one wants, maybe you’ll uncover something I left for you to find. 😉