In the last few years, I find I am fascinated by flowers. They are so intricate, so beautiful, so fragile… and except for hot-house flower store flowers, they happen spontaneously. The plant just decides when to grow the bud and the bud opens according to its own will and timeline. Even though plants are said to have no intelligence, I wonder about that. They follow the sun as it travels across the sky, or lean towards a sunny window. They conserve water in a dry season, such as when I forget to water them! They seem to know when to flower, either in response to summer weather or to decreasing light, as in the case of my Christmas cactus. It burst into blooms in October and is still flowering, although much less than before. Pointsettias are another flower that blooms in response to long days and short nights. In fact, one webpage says to keep the plants totally dark at night – make sure you don’t even turn a lamp on – through October and November to make sure they flower. So here were humans are, having to change our lifestyle, living in the dark, in order for a plant to flower! Sound silly?
Well, maybe not. Before the invention and popularization of electricity, we lived in the dark when the sun went down. People had lanterns or candles, and if you wanted heat as well as light, you had a fireplace. On the whole, life slowed down in the evening, and people spent time at home relaxing and going to bed early. If you watched “Little House on the Prairie” you know what I am talking about.
Sometimes, I long for those days. It was so much simpler – people didn’t cram their evenings with activities, or work late into the night. They were productive during the day, and worked hard, but they knew when to relax and recharge. Life was more connected to what was natural, less forced and artificial. I think I need to go camping! 🙂 In a couple of months… there’s still a lot of snow on the ground here!