Saturday, May 16, 2009

Thank you, pushy-sweet flower lady

There's a fairly large farmer's market on the corner near the hospital. I've visited many times, pre- or post-visit. I don't always buy something, but my favorite booth is one occupied by a Korean family selling some of the most beautiful flowers I've ever seen, especially the peonies. You just don't see peonies everday, and since their blooming period is so short I feel obligated to pay homage. Which is to say, I bury my face in them whenever I walk by- - -no one seems to mind. I can't resist. They pull at me with their moth-wing fluffiness, their light, yet heady scent of summer to come.

The other day I was doing my usual sniff and smile routine when the flower lady noticed the big plastic Carolinas Medical Center cup in my hand. "You sick? I hope not, right?" she asked--half sympathetic, half cautionary. "No," I assured her. "Just visiting my dad today." With that, she plucked one of the biggest blooms from her $10 bundles and thrust it at me: "You take! For your mama, OK?"

"No, I couldn't--it's actually my dad. . .you see, my mom is um," (meanwhile the lady looks puzzled and slightly wounded, a look I remember my grandmother giving me if I refused a fourth piece of fried chicken). "OH, THANK YOU!!" I finally blurted, grasping the stem. "Your flowers are so special," I told her.
"Special like mama, right?" she said.
"Yes, exactly." I replied. And this peony sure is.

1 comment:

dawn said...

i hope you kept that peony. it was meant for you i'm sure of it. isn't it wonderful when the universe reminds us that it loves us? i'm glad it did for you.

p.s. i love you too