Flowers Solace a Heavy Heart

All week I’ve been heartsick.  The April 15th Boston Marathon Bombings and the subsequent Lock-down of Metropolitan Boston yesterday have been a distraction to say the least.  Last Monday felt like a truly spring day –night temps were above freezing and days without the need for a heavy coat, hat and scarf.  Trees and shrubs budding, spring bulbs flowering in the warmer southern exposures, winter’s siege seemed to finally lifting. It was a great day for the marathon—not too hot or cold. Indeed celebration was in the air, until–until our peace was ruptured.  And, I was experiencing how it feels like to live in war torn countries. (As an aside, there’s a great song that always make me thoughtful—Loudon Wainwright III ‘s  –‘Pretty Good Day’. ) See lyrics at end of this blog.

Photo by Suarez.Photo by Suarez.

Photo by Suarez.

We humans use flowers to show sympathy—impromptu roadside tributes feature layers of them. Indeed there’s a mounding memorial to the dead and wounded in Boston at the closed street intersection. Something about their beauty gives us some solace—not lightness but some solace. I found myself buying a second bouquet this week of brightly hued blooms.  Outside I looked for and treasured the emerging early spring flowering bulbs and perennials I enjoy yearly.

Here’s a couple of the flowering plants I photographed but not all that I savored. It’s pouring rain outside, so I can’t take better photos today. Hopefully you’ll get the beauty of the moment from these images of the early spring flowering tree Star Magnolia and the blue spring bulb Scilla.

Photo by Maria von Brincken c 2013
Scilla in Flower –Photo by Maria von Brincken c 2013

Following are the lyrics from Loudon Wainwright IIIPretty Good Day 

I slept through the night, I got through to the dawn

I flipped a switch and the light went on

I got out of bed and I put some clothes on

Oh, it’s a pretty good day so far


I turned the tap, there was cold, there was hot

I put on my coat to go to the shop

I stepped outside and I didn’t get shot

Oh, it’s a pretty good day so far


I didn’t hear any sirens or explosions

No murders coming in from those heavy guns

No UN tanks and I didn’t see one

It’s a pretty good day so far


Star Magnolial--Photo by Maria von Brincken c 2013
Star Magnolial–Photo by Maria von Brincken c 2013

No snipers in windows taking a peak

No people panic, running scared through the streets

I didn’t see any bodies without arms, legs or feet

It’s a pretty good day


There was plasma bandages and electricity

Food, wood and water and the air was smoke free

No camera crews from my TV


It was all such a strange sight to be home

Nobody was frightened, wounded, hungry or cold

And the children seemed normal, they didn’t look old

It’s a pretty good day so far


I walked through a park, you would not believe it

There in the park, there were a few trees left

And on some branches, there were a few leaves


I slept through the night, I got through to the dawn

I flipped the switch and the light went on

I wrote down my dream, I made it this song

Oh, it’s a pretty good day so far


6 responses to “Flowers Solace a Heavy Heart”

  1. What a well-chosen song. I see flowers as solace too but I know a surprising number of people who have not wanted any funeral flowers for a loved one, finding the subsequent death and disposal of the cut flowers much too symbolic of what they’re going through. Although I love seeing what’s flowering in my garden, I can’t usually resist cutting a couple to bring inside, hoping to bring their cheer in with them. But I must admit, when the petals start to fall, I then feel sad!

    1. Catherine,

      I guess as with everything, it’s a personal response. I’m so glad I don’t live in a society that allows me choices. When the petals start to fall, I simply compost them! knowing that they’ll decompose and add to nutrients to continue the flowering plants in my gardens. For me the color and life helps me.

  2. Matt McConeghy Avatar
    Matt McConeghy

    Life imposes penalties on us for daring to live, daring to have children, daring to have friends and be attached. But we accept these because humans are naturally defiant. It doesn’t take something big to make a day a good day, it only needs to be not terrible. Seeing the forsythia, the tiny spring flowers in the grass – that is enough to start a day off right. And then there are lots more bonuses, like music that helps us find our thoughts, or, in my case this morning, hot oatmeal. 🙂

    1. Matt,

      Amazing how even one small spring flower can “start the day off right”. And the music and the sharing of it that when we listen to each other perform we bear “witness” to being heard and performing shares our sometimes deepest thoughts and feelings. Thanks for your response. Enjoy your oatmeal!

  3. Beautiful flowers all of them,Star Magnolial stands out particularly, breathtakingly beautiful!

  4. Beautiful song woven around such beautiful concept and used words and phrases inventively.

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