My daughter asked me once, “mommy, why do you love flowers so much?” It’s a question that I think of often. Especially when I’m outside playing in nature. I always seem to move towards those delightful petals.
As a kid, I used to spend every summer till I was 6 down at my grandmothers in the woods. I could say the country, but it was really a town next to a Army Fort and all in the woods. My parents would drive me halfway to this breakfast place. Of course I would always get the pancakes and stuff myself silly. Once we were all done, we would give hugs, and “see you soon” then I would hop into my grandmother’s Mercedes and separate from my parents for a few months.
She often wore bright colored lipstick and a big fluffy hat that looked like a flower when we went out. She would take me sketching by the water at this beautiful park for ducks and such. She helped me take classes at the Nelson Art Gallery in my hometown of Kansas City (the chair class was my favorite, out of cardboard!), and she made sure I saw the world with people to people in Australia/ New Zealand.
My grandmother, I called her Dee Dee (short for Delores), was quite the unique person. Tough and full of opinions, worked towards a PhD in art, was a teacher that had a love affair of amazing furniture and had been married 3 (yes 3!) times.
She gave me space to play in the dried up creek across from her home. There I would find fossils to bring home, paths to new areas and sometimes connected with the girl that lived nearby. I would be outside for hours exploring the land and seeing what I could find.
Where I grew up in a city space, my freedom was usually marked by 4 blocks that was my neighborhood. A space where my mother knew someone around in case it was time for dinner. A place where I could come home quickly in case of a bike accident (don’t worry, a car wasn’t damaged, just some skinned knees). By nature was still available through my own yard or the park’s nearby. From after breakfast to dinner, I was outside playing. It was my happy place.
I think that a love and appreciation of nature is something that is taught at home. It’s a place to explore, learn and grow. I think anytime I’m out in the dirt or playing with the flowers, I’ll taken right back to playing outside at my grandmothers in the creek.