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An ode to my mother
Growing up, seldom did my house not have fresh flowers.
My mother loves flowers; she always says that “dinner tastes better when there’s a bouquet on the table.” You see, beauty is not a luxury, but a necessity. This is our household philosophy.
Because what’s the point of doing anything if not to make ourselves feel better and live happier? My mother taught me that beauty is a must, that aesthetics are important, and that looking good is a crucial part of feeling good. A beautiful woman is a virtuous one. A beautiful house is a comfortable one. A beautiful mind is a healthy one. There is only one thing she doesn’t like about bouquet flowers—they are short-lived.
They’re grown in greenhouses with controlled temperature and humidity. They’re carefully cut, packaged, and shipped overseas. They’re beautiful to look at but extremely delicate and require lots of maintenance. In contrast, wildflowers are a lot tougher.
When the wildflowers came into bloom, my mother would add to her philosophy on beauty: “Beauty may be necessary, but so is toughness. If a girl were a flower, she’s better off being a wildflower.” Unlike greenhouse flowers, wildflowers are resilient. When it storms, they brave through the winds and pouring rain. When it snows, their roots nap under the earth and return the following spring. They’re never truly defeated.
They’re lanky, mismatched, and they sprout in the most peculiar places—highways, cracks in the sidewalk, roadside ditches, and everywhere in between. For the wildflower, the whole world is its greenhouse. There is no ‘optimal’ environment for it to grow; they don’t demand carefully monitored temperatures, finicky doses of sunlight, or dainty amounts of water. They live off what they receive and they thrive doing so.
Wildflowers never complain about the elements, they bloom wherever they can and whenever they want. Wildflowers never ask for permission. They dance in the wind like no one’s watching.
My mother raised me to be like the wildflowers. To be beautiful but tough. She gave me a roll-up-your-sleeve mentality when hard work was necessary. She taught me to maintain graceful even in the face of adversity, and to look up at the sky after it pours. Wildflowers have their roots deep in the earth and their faces worshipping the Sun. Come droughts, cloudy days, storms, and fearsome winds, wildflowers still blossom and bring a touch of beauty and joy to the world around them.
We all experience suboptimal environments; the world is not perfect, our lives are not perfect, we are not perfect. We live alongside all types of suffering, sadness, injustice, and grief. So, we should never be surprised when the weight of that reality bears heavy sometimes.
But even still, we can remain resilient.
While happiness gives us buds, challenges give us depth.
Without storms, we wouldn’t grow roots that are strong enough to reach the womb of the earth.
Without sunshine, we wouldn’t grow vines and branches long enough to reach the sky.
Both are needed; the taller we grow, the deeper we need to be in the ground. This is our balance, and this is the mechanics of a wildflower’s resilience.
Wishing all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day,
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."
— Proverbs 31:25
Thanks for reading Pluripotent! There’s good stuff on the way…I’ll let you know when it’s here 💌 If you have once made a pledge, I appreciate you very much :)