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Flower Girl: What flower picking represents to a city girl

The second time I visited Martha's Vineyard for summer vacation, we happened upon a flower picking farm and I couldn't believe that such a thing existed. We were handed a pair of clippers and a basket and let loose in the field. I had picked strawberries before, but clipping flowers felt more nirvanic.

Splendor in the grass

I never forgot the euphoria of clipping cosmos, zinnias, marigolds and more blooms I didn't know the names of. When I went back years later, that flower farm was no more and I went a little quxotic in my search for places to pick flowers.

Center pieces

My understanding of why I am so keen on repeating this particular experience is rooted in how I grew up, a city kid, surrounded by concrete, asphalt and bleakness. It's a novelty, sure. Maybe even a luxury. But really, it's a representation of what I feel I missed out in my childhood. In the story I am creating of my self, my personal myth is heavily focused on how much my family lacked, how we scraped by to stay sheltered, clothed and fed. This is all true. When I use the term "myth", I am not using it to suggest something was a fantasy or falsehood. But I will acknowledge that one's memory can become revised as we move farther away from the event in question.

At the lunch table

So last year when we found the East Durham Farm in Greene County, upstate NY, where you can clip flowers, mostly zinnias, it felt like divine intervention or, at least, kismet. Though I was happy for this re-experience, I also felt a tinge of wistfulness that came from knowing the bliss would be brief. But how much meaning it held.

What flowers mean to me

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