One reason I like flowers
so much is that I enjoy making bouquet
s for other people. When I am having company for a meal, I usually make an arrangement to add charm to the table, but even then I often persuade someone the take the bouquet home.
One place I commonly make flower arrangements for is Adelphi Friends Meeting. I am a Quaker and this is where I practice my faith. From early spring to late fall I prepare an arrangement and take it to Meeting for Worship on Sunday morning then try to persuade someone to take it home after Meeting.
It took me awhile to learn how to make arrangements. I have virtually no space factor in intelligence. This factor relates to how well a person can visualize what something will look like without being able to see it. Artists are high in this factor and so are people who make flower arrangements.
In the early days of our development, Adelphi was a community. Among other things we had a Woman's Club that met once a month. The program for one of these meetings was on making flower arrangements. The lady who presented this program introduced us to the use of oasis. Oasis is a green block of plastic that absorbs water and still holds its shape. Placed firmly in the vase, the oasis makes it possible to put flowers in place and take them out at will. with this factor in place I can make beautiful flower arrangements.
One fall a member of our Meeting approached me in regard to my flower arrangements. "Do you realize," she asked, "that some people in our Meeting have allergies and suffer from your flowers?"
"No." I answered. I was thinking that she was wrong. I have allergies and I do not suffer from them at Meeting. The pollen does not drop that soon. I pick them early in the morning, put them in water and arrange them just before I take them to Meeting.
"Perhaps," I suggested, "that they see the golden rod and think themselves into a problem. People sometimes do have a problem with ragweed which blooms about the same time."
"Well," she said, "I just wanted you to know about it." She had managed to get herself invited to lunch so no one could overhear our conversation. I did try to make the lunch pleasant, but I did not make any promises.
After thinking this situation over, I made a couple of decisions. The flower season was almost over and I would refrain from bringing any more this season. Also I would pull up all the golden rod in my garden so I would not be tempted to include it. Also I would make sure that arrangements would not be left in the Meeting room. The flowers would surely drop their pollen if they were left there to die down.
This lady moved to Friend's House. a Quaker Senior Center, before the season developed. Years later, I discovered that she was the one with the problem.
So I have continued through the years to make flower arrangements for sunday morning meeting. Sometimes reflections of the beauty appear in messages spoken during Meeting. Sometimes people speak to me about how much they love the flowers. One person has even written a poem about the ministry of flowers in the meeting.
Most of the fun, however, is when I develop small flower arrangements with a large group of meeting children. I provide small plastic bowls with oasis stuck in them and a large number of flowers. I briefly show them the principles of flower arrangements and then turn them loose to produce their own individual creation. Every child is successful with what they produce because flowers are beautiful.