May 11th, 2012

I used to buy fresh flowers at the grocery store every week until I started feeling guilty about what seemed a luxurious self-indulgence. I would be GOOD, I told myself, and save rather than splurge on things I didn’t need. I’m supposed to be conserving money in case I lose my job, thanks to the casino we call Wall Street, and go from being a publisher to a pauper. Or if not a pauper, then a penny pincher and do-withouter. So for almost a year, I’ve mostly turned a blind eye to the purple irises, the white hydrangeas, the big open-hearted sunflowers. Last week, though, the peonies arrived. Buckets of deep rose colored ones first. Yes, they were expensive, but I had peony fever and I said “just this once.” And this week a few bunches were waiting of the palest pink ones with a dash of alizarin red in their centers. And I caved again. They don’t last long, these goddesses of the garden, opening in one lush, languid burst of sensuality. But their scent reminds me of my grandmother’s house in summer — the quiet rooms, the polished furniture, the lingering smell of woodsmoke from the past winter, starched white curtains gently breathing in and out on the breeze from the windows on a long gold-green afternoon. And peonies blooming in the yard. I would have paid twice what I did for the inrushing of that precious sense memory as I cupped their flower faces in my hands and inhaled.

6 Responses to “Blooming”

  1. Gina says:

    Good for you! These are tough times, and we all deserve those small indulgences that make our heart sing. Why is it so hard to feel good about giving ourselves what we need- a nap, some flowers, a piece of really good chocolate, a great CD nobody else in the house wants to hear….? Enjoy those showy peonies!

  2. nikki says:

    I am– Won’t throw them out til the petals start to fall!

  3. We have peonies blooming in our garden. When my mother died, my husband dug the peonies out of her yard and transplanted them in ours…

  4. Just this once is all we have anyway… I’m so glad you bought the peonies… Your now deserves them by the armful!

  5. nikki says:

    thank you!

  6. Kristin Stafford says:

    Oh how I miss the brief, but so sweet, peony season!

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