A home is at its best when it breathes—when its rooms bear vestiges of lives lived well. When light crawls across a room in the early morning and when a breeze let in through an open window kicks around the dust. A home is never meant to feel static. It inhales and exhales with an invisible, but perceivable, breath. And nothing brings this kind of breath quite like fresh flowers.
Flowers carry within them a most alluring and lingering form of resonance. They cause us to slow down. They invite us to behold. They initiate feeling. In the built environment, flowers cause us to wonder how something so delicate and also so bold could exist in the world.
Such is the power of living beauty. I believe flowers are so potent because they are alive. Unlike furniture, books, or art, flowers are alive and ephemeral; they remind us of the now. They usher seasonality into our homes, heralding spring with daffodils and marking fall with rusty foliage. They situate us rightly, to remind us that just outside the walls of our home is a world that is alive. They reassure us when that winter (as a temporal or metaphorical season) will end. “Where flowers bloom, so does hope,” once said Lady Bird Johnson. Flowers remind us to hope.
But herein lies the painful underside of fleeting beauty: flowers invite us into the now, but only because they will die in a week’s time. So often, cut flowers feel like a wasteful extravagance. But I hold their temporality as an opportunity to celebrate rather than lament. They posture us to appreciate and to savor; they set us free from an obsession with permanence and perfection. Whereas we evaluate our sofas, coats, or cell phones on how long they will last us, fresh flowers have no expectation of longevity: all that remains is an invitation for us to enjoy. This sense of joy, coupled with an inhale and an exhale, brings the sort of peace to a home that can dissolve unwanted worry and anxiety.
A home is at its best when it breathes. When it sighs, when it sings, when it whispers. Flowers lend that breath and in return, cause us to breathe alongside them. We synchronize ourselves to their cadence, their agenda. They imbue our home with the deep-seated wonder that makes us feel transcendent, while acutely alive. Fresh flowers prepare us to be more present when we leave the home, as well – they inspire us to enact their sense of living breath, hope, and joy.
Sammy Go is the founder of Lambert Floral Studio.
Last night, just before dark, I planted the first seeds of my summer garden. There was
A trip. A journey. A venture to a foreign land. When we travel