There’s something about a flower.
A few months after I moved to South Africa to study abroad, a beautifully energetic florist from Brazil opened a flower shop right around the corner from my house in Pretoria.
It was next to the contemporary styled cafe I would often visit for the amazing Americanos the baristas created. When the flower shop opened, I would walk past the window admiring all of the beautiful arrangements of roses, peonies, and lilies. I would see older women coming out with beautiful arrangements, men buying a single rose for their significant other. At first, I felt this sense of longing. I wanted there to be someone in my life to surprise me with a beautiful flower. It’s something intimate, yet innocent. Romantic. Fragile.
One morning I decided to go inside the shop after drinking a coffee before my Political Thought class. It was a gorgeous day in late October. The jacaranda trees were in full bloom and the streets were full of bright purple petals. I remember I was wearing my new long, flowing, black dress. I perused the containers of flowers and a bouquet of pink roses caught my eye. That’s when I realized: I don’t need someone to give me a flower, I can give myself a dozen. I felt so much joy leaving the flower shop with a bouquet of beautiful roses. There’s something magical about walking down the sidewalk with flowers in your arms. People smile. They wonder who gave them to you – not thinking that you may have just bought them for yourself.
After that morning, I went back every week to pick out a new bouquet of flowers to surprise my roommates. The flowers would fill our kitchen with warmth and happiness – they added something special.
I went to say goodbye to my florist the night before I was leaving Pretoria. It was a bittersweet goodbye, but she surprised me with a white daisy and a loving card. Being back in the states, I still buy myself flowers. Because it makes my heart happy.