Friday, March 21, 2008

Flower therapy


I got back to Seattle on Monday night, after an emotional roller-coaster trip to Michigan. My stepbrother Paul passed away unexpectedly, so we were all grieving even as we gathered to celebrate my dad and stepmom's 25th anniversary. I thought once I got back here, I'd be able to pull myself together and refocus on my writing and business.

It hasn't exactly worked out that way.

I'm doing dumb things like walking the wrong way down the sidewalk or layering a pizza in the wrong order. After finishing a big deadline on Wednesday, I totally lost it and slid into a self-indulgent stress spiral. I've snapped at friends. I went to a women's networking party last night and had to slink away after gritting my teeth for an hour. A master wheeler-dealer, in that moment, I knew talking to strangers was the last thing I wanted to do.

I'm feeling better. I'm regrouping. But I haven't been exactly motivated to write.

Until I saw the daffodils.

I'm sitting in Cupcake Royale and there's a bouquet of mixed daffodils at the cash wrap. And as soon as I saw them, I thought of my grandma.

Growing up in a ranch-style house next to my grandparents' farmhouse, I would often walk over to their place to get away from my brothers (usually, it was because I wanted to watch The Waltons and they wouldn't relinquish control of the TV). The grassy path took me between the shed and the barn, past oak and pine trees, and, in the spring, by bunch after bunch of daffodils. My grandma liked crocuses just fine but it was daffodils that I remember trumpeting spring. She had every variety, too, from the palest white petals with an orange center to bright yellow ones. I hope the barista didn't think me too weird when I sniffed the bouquet, for even the smell brings back comforting memories of Michigan and searching for Easter eggs in the flower beds.

I have never liked the color yellow but cheery daffodils always get a pass. They remind me of home, and that always puts a spring in my step.

3 comments:

sharikrsna said...

sorry about your step brother
(from Shari)

Melingo Wagamama said...

Oh, Jen, so sorry to hear about your stepbrother. I hope you're doing ok. Maybe you should bring the daffodils indoors--buy a bunch at the market and put them in one of your cute antique containers. Perfect Prairie goodness. :)

alisten@mac.com said...

I love the expression "trumpeting spring". Can't wait to read the memoir...can already tell how moving/uplifting it will be.

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