|This is the bouquet I ordered this year.|
I don't like this "holiday" but I observe it. I wouldn't want my wife to be the only one in her office to be in the unenviable position of explaining why she didn't get flowers or a gift from her husband. So I participate. But I recognize, as do many I'm sure, that love is better conveyed on an every day basis. To that end, there's a poem that Marvin Bell wrote for his wife that I have been fond of for years. In my opinion, the spirit of this poem reflects how we should celebrate those we love. And, as a gardeners, I think we can appreciate the kind of person it takes to let a weed grow unplucked or a mulberry too close to the house.
You are not beautiful, exactly.
You are beautiful, inexactly.
You let a weed grow by the mulberry
and a mulberry grow by the house.
So close, in the personal quiet
of a windy night, it brushes the wall
and sweeps away the day till we sleep.
A child said it, and it seemed true:
"Things that are lost are all equal."
But it isn't true.. If I lost you,
the air wouldn't move, nor the trees grow.
Someone would pull the weed, my flower.
The quiet wouldn't be yours. If I lost you,
I'd have to ask the grass to let me sleep.
*If you're interested, here is a reading of this poem from one of Bell's former students. She touches on why saying "You are not beautiful, exactly" isn't a mean thing to say.