Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Open Sesame

I have two favorite flowers.

The gerber daisy:

Photo taken by Forest Purnell
And the sunflower:
Photo from the US Dept of Agriculture

Neither of them are exotic or elegant. Neither of them are particularly delicate - although the daisy's sturdy appearance is rather deceiving. Neither will likely ever be used as metaphor for an attractive woman's nature or form. Those are reserved for roses, lilies, iris - all lovely in their own right. But not what I prefer.

What the two of them have in common - and what appeals to me - is their openness...their bright, shining, freshly scrubbed faces and sturdy stalks. There is nothing closed off or hidden. They simply are what they are - you can see what they are - as they nod and smile, as their beautiful blossoms sometimes become too heavy for their stems.

When I first encountered a gerber daisy 20 years ago, I immediately nicknamed them "happy flowers". They just look happy! And they make me happy just to look upon them.

Other flowers are secretive, deceptive. They may conceal bee stings, spider bites, thorn pricks. Hurty type things you would not know existed until they were blown out. And almost every flower, eventually, blows out...unless it was a dud to begin with.

I love things that are open...flowers, windows, the 24-hour grocery, a good bottle of wine, opportunities, minds...relationships.

There's the metaphor. See what I did there?

Relationships that are open - whether it's by inviting other parties into an established relationship between 2 people or simply by two people remaining open, transparent, and honest with each other - provide me with much happy (on both counts). 

There is little room for doubt, jealousy, insecurity, angst, anxiety when there is nothing hidden or concealed.

And, let's face it, I've got enough random, free-floating anxiety just generally that I don't need or want to create more by lying, hiding, veiling my intent or my feelings. I'm not threatening. I promise. I'm on the up and up. I have no desire to rob someone else's joy to enhance my own. In fact, I am more likely to deny myself my own happiness if I think someone else might suffer because of it.


So, for the three of us to sit on the couch together as the afternoon sun streamed in through the windows as we joked, laughed, talked about...I don't know...whatever (I don't recall), feels like how a gerber daisy or sunflower looks.

Open. Beautiful. Kissed by the sun. Fully exposed and vulnerable - yet, safe to admire - and adored by those engulfed in its presence.

I love my life.

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