She inherited the vase from her mother – a porcelain horse with a melancholy face, its flanks patterned with pink flowers, a small circular hole in the centre of its spine.
She remembers the first time she cut flowers from the garden and arranged them, Ikebana style, in this vase, which used to stand empty on the sideboard in her parent’s hallway. It was three weeks after her mother’s funeral, when there was nothing left to do except remember. Three branches of Bougainvillea, unapologetically cheerful. She had done her best to silence her thoughts, had held each branch and waited until she knew where it should go.
That was twenty years ago. Now she teaches her granddaughter how to be still, holds her young hands between her own creased palms and talks about beauty, and difference, and how everything is connected, even if you can’t always see how straight away. She watches her granddaughter’s eyes stray towards the horse, and knows that she too, imagines sitting astride its back, lifting her face up to the heavens and feeling the earth blur beneath her.
Inspired by Shehani’s answer to the question: What do flowers mean to you? July 7, 2010 at 9:01 am