Brilliance Then and Now and Yet to Come

digital illustrationIris, in her long-legged elegance, has been for many years, a queenly inspiration among the flowers for me. Iris played a starring role in both the print materials and the floral arrangements gracing our wedding, being a great favorite of both my partner’s and mine. Not surprisingly, we cultivated irises in our own garden; my mother and a good friend living on my parents’ street also had many lovely varieties of iris growing at home. Our choice to use flowers only from those three gardens for the day of our nuptials meant we could still embrace our love of these tall violet beauties and their gracefully graphic long leaves as much as we liked.

Part of my desire for my physical leftovers to be cremated after my death is, admittedly, driven too by this love, since I know that iris plants often enjoy a little taste of ash to amend their beds. If it turns out that human ashes aren’t the kind they like, please refrain from filling me in on that and I’ll just let my survivors figure out where to surreptitiously and inoffensively dump mine and meanwhile go forth to my death happy in the thought that I’ll enhance some floral glory in my own little way.

I’d like to live a meaningful and purposeful life before dying anyway, to be sure. I’d be happy to know that my time on this plane is a good thing for more than just my own pleasure, but since I am not endowed with any mythic powers I know that my impact, for good or ill, will be modest. And that’s quite all right; it’s the path of nearly all mortals’ lives, and we who make up the chorus are necessary support for the brilliance of the marquee stars, the soloists, those few who make their mark with art or invention or discovery or any of those kinds of shining accomplishments. But I live in hope, too, that even if my shining moment doesn’t come in my years on earth, it might be achieved when I am back in the earth. So look kindly, when you see them, upon irises, for one day I hope to be smiling back at you from in their midst.

12 thoughts on “Brilliance Then and Now and Yet to Come

  1. Wonderful Kathryn!! Two things sprang to mind when I read this, one is the saying that “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”.

    The other is a reference to these wonderful flowers. My mum used to excel at flower arranging and one of the first competitions she won contained irises, bullrushes and reeds and she stood an elegant heron among it all. It was really vey simple just with five irises but the beauty was in the simplicity and I remember it as though it were yesterday.

    And what a lovely idea having your special occasion flowers from the gardens!

    Thank you for bringing this precious memory back to me and for reminding me that we all have our part to play in the big picture however small that may be. Im sure your smile from among those irises will be a huge one full of sunshine, but of course, not for many, many years! 😊 Xx

  2. Kath, I have ALWAYS loved irises, particularly the tall violet ones. My mother had them in the garden of the house I grew up in. They were always among the first flowers to bloom every spring. To this day, they remain one of my favorite flowers. I am reminded that I need to replace the two that stood sentinel at either end of the flower bed under our living room window. The ones I had there fell victim to a landscaping project last summer that involved replacing sidewalks.

    As always, a lovely post and particularly appreciated on this bitterly cold Alberta day.


  3. Wonderful post, Kathryn, and it reminds me of my Mom and how she loved her garden. She had irises, among many other flowers and her favorite was the rose…have a wonderful weekend! xo

    • My mom converted me to roses; Pristine is my all-time favorite, but I appreciate all of them so much more than I once did. I can’t say there’s *any* flower or plant that I just don’t like anymore, but ‘some animals are more equal than others,’ don’t you know. 😉

    • Oh, I could go for that one, too: a spectacular plant *and* the great deliciousness that can be made from it. Also just plain a great name for a plant, no? Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb! 😀

    • Thank you, Marko! The weekend *flew* by so quickly here, but I will be happy when I can find a little time to spend looking at your great photos again. All best to you!

  4. Lovely painting! !
    My grandmother was an Iris aficionado. I still have a few varieties she’s cultivated.
    I also love the wedding bouquet idea. I cut flowers from my yard, which was odd that year (2012) as my fav, lilacs were blooming in early April! Not normal at all.
    I am also going to be buried under a tree, but au natural, no chemicals, no ash, just wrapped in a pink blanket my mother crocheted for me. Just like you, I want to be pushing up daisies! 🌼🌼🌼🌼

    • Love it! Love it! The perfect burial, preceded (I hope by a VERRRRRRY long margin) by a grand garden-fueled wedding. Lilacs *are* glorious. So heady, that perfume! I think I’ll always think of southern Germany when I smell lilacs and mock orange, since one year when we were there they, too, had an unseasonably early bloom—and a huge flood at the same time, so the coach we were in with my husband’s touring choir had to take a number of detours and that extended the time when we were wandering the lanes where all of that was blooming. A little surreal, but because the people there seemed to come out of it remarkably well, also a sweet memory.

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