This ethical floral bouquet is from late fall 2019. To most, I’m it appears but a scraggly, unorganized, ugly bouquet. For me it’s a work of ethical art. You see, these are the dying flowers of fall. Their life extended by an epiphany that I had from the summer of 2018.
During the 2018 summer, I approached the most beautiful flowers growing in my yard - carefully choosing the prettiest and healthiest to cut for bouquets. Snip, snip, snip,-- I dropped the freshly cut stems into the basket. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with sadness and regret. Acutely aware that i was cutting their lives short and robbing pollinators of necessary sustenance and homes-- i dropped the shears in horror. What have I done? I had cut these down for an unreasonable purpose-- selfishness-- to fragrantly beautify the rooms in my house for short periods of time! It didn’t feel right. selfish. wrong. a bit murderous. Those cuts were surely painful for the flowers and they were now regretfully painful for me.
My conscious newly awakened; it was now strange to me that for years I had been using flowers as momentary adornments for my own selfish reasons and without much thought of it being "unacceptable."
Last summer (2019) I waited to make an arrangement until the flowers were in deaths grip. In a position to now help extend their life instead of cut it short; i knew that i could still enjoy their fading beauty throughout rooms in the house. Flowers, grasses, and weeds are now adored by me in their prime--outside -- in tact, and serving the needs of the environment. The choice was made to make only ethical floral bouquets in the same way in which I fashioned this one; with less than perfect flowers already gripped by death. That’s the way I like it.
He Said it Best
After this spiritual awakening in 2018, I happened upon this the poem in 2020, and wow-- Samuel Coleridge had the same feeling---- but said it so much better than I did. Read it below.
Ungrateful he, who pluck’d thee from thy stalk,
Poor faded flow’ret! on his careless way;
Inhal’d awhile thy odours on his walk,
Then onward pass’d and left thee to decay.
Ah! melancholy emblem! had I seen
Thy modest beauties dew’d with Evening’s gem,
I had not rudely cropp’d thy parent stem,
But left thee, blushing, ‘mid the enliven’d green.
And now I bend me o’er thy wither’d bloom,
And drop the tear – as Fancy, at my side,
Deep-sighing, points the fair frail Abra’s tomb –
‘Like thine, sad Flower was that poor wanderer’s pride!
Oh! lost to Love and Truth, whose selfish joy
Tasted her vernal sweets, but tasted to destroy!’
--------Faded Flower by Samuel Coleridge