There is a season for everything.Jul 08, 2022
Nearly every week I have something to pick, from the city garden, or the farm garden, for my desk. An abundance of flowers on my desk was my number one mental health-enhancing lockdown move, and I have kept it going.
About a month ago I noticed a ‘gap’ in the fresh flower season; there was nothing in either garden, so I visited a florist and bought some natives.
I’ll be honest, as much as I appreciate the form of many native flowers, they don’t have my heart the way the European flowers do, and they definitely do not smell the same.
So, it was time to visit one of my favourite florists and see what they had in store; it was primarily natives, but I noticed there were a few buckets of tulips and freesias.
Although I thought, “It’s too early for these flowers; I wonder where they have come from?” I succumbed and bought a bunch of both.
When I got them home, I went to smell the freesias and realised they had no scent; the whole point of freesias is their scent!
And the tulips? They did not bring me the joy I had expected; they were out of place on my desk.
One is not supposed to have tulips at the start of winter; they are the second joys of spring, after the daffodils and jonquils.
I can only liken it to buying a tomato or mango out of season.
My journey into food ethics started over thirty years ago. I remember how revolutionary it felt when I vowed to myself to never buy tomatoes out of season, which led to only purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables. Because seriously, there is no joy or flavour in out-of-season fruit and vegetables.
It turns out that there is also no joy in buying out-of-season flowers. I am a massive advocate of the slow flower movement, which subscribes to only buying flowers in season. There is a season for flowers, just like there is a season for fruit and vegetables.
In forcing the season (by buying flowers too early for their season), I missed the joy and the anticipation of the wait.
I was speaking to a new mum last week. She is currently at home with her young baby but also wants to grow her business. Of course, this is not impossible, but I could see she was torn. I asked her if she was to choose a season for right now, was she in the baby season or the business season? She said she was in the baby season. “I feel I am doing a good job at parenting when I focus on this season of parenting. My baby will be in care in two months; that will be the beginning of me stepping back into my business.” We chatted more, and she said, “It feels like a relief to accept where I am. To dedicate myself to this season.”
I now feel the same with my desk and my flowers. We are in winter. The flowers I love are coming, but this is not their season.
It’s okay to succumb to the season you are in. Why pretend it is spring when you are in a deep winter? Winter has its gifts, literally and metaphorically.
Forcing an early-season can bring an unsatisfactory harvest. The joy is diminished and the rewards disappointing.
I invite you to honour the season you are in and enjoy the harvest, whether that be flowers, fruit and veg or life stages.
Seasons change. So do we.
As always, I would love to hear your insights, thoughts or musings.
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