She was standing in front of the bouquets of flowers, with a shopping basket in one hand, purse slung across her shoulder, and her hair tired from a long day at the office. It was rush hour, when women from all walks of life intersected at Trader Joe’s to pick up food for dinner.
“Hard to decide what to pick, huh?” I turned to smile, standing next to her.
“Yeah,” she answered with a chuckle, probably to be polite. She wore a cool pair of spectacles and a cute wrinkle in her nose when she smiled.
“What are you deciding between?” I asked.
My new friend told me she’s not sure. She said she’ll often stand there, unable to choose. Then, she’ll go home with her groceries, without any flowers.
“That used to happen to me all the time, ” I said. “I wouldn’t be able decide between the flowers I really wanted and the ones that cost less…”
“YES! Exactly!” my bespectacled friend interjected. She turned to me now with recognition. We were of the same tribe. Women who were unable to bring flowers home to enjoy.
“I’d talk myself out of it,” I confided. “I’d say, It’s not worth it. They’ll only last a few days. I later realized what I was actually saying was, I am not worth it. What I find joy in for a few days isn’t worth it.”
“So true,” my friend nodded with wide-eyed agreement.
I asked her if there were flowers she’d loved as a little girl, if there were flowers she liked more as she grew up.
This stranger-become-kindred-spirit started sharing stories about why sunflowers made her happy. They reminded her of summer and riding her bike with a white basket adorned with a plastic sunflower. But lately, she was drawn to hydrangeas because they were soothing.
“Your stories are special,” I said. “There’s something about flowers. About how God made them. How God made us. I read that scientific studies show simply looking at flowers improves emotional health.”
“Really?!” My friend was intrigued.
“A Harvard study even showed that women who had the morning-blahs…
(to be continued)
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