I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it…. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. –Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982
I just returned from visiting flower growers in Holland and am here to report that spring is pretty much on schedule in Northern Europe. It was still cold and the trees were just starting to sprout. The famed, glorious tulip fields were beginning to color up and turn from rich green to strips of color swathing the landscape in rivers of vibrancy. It’s all very much unlike here, where we had spring surprise us many weeks early – only to reveal her true nature as a commitment-phobe by backing off and letting the chill reappear. The unexpected return of cold temperatures preserved the spring buds and blossoms longer than usual, giving us a much-desired (can you tell I love spring?) though slightly confusing bonus spring!
It reminded me of a simple truth we all learn early in life: Mother Nature is always in control, and she doesn’t work according to our schedule. Another reminder? Blooming branches. They are the joy and bane of everyone in my business.
Joy, because they give tremendous visual volume to any event, causing every bride who sees them to swoon – they are the perfect balance of girly, romantic fluff (blooms) supported by a manly restraint (branches) that no groom could deny. If I could get blooming branches like the ones we used in the Chuppa pictured above whenever I wanted, I’m pretty sure they would be featured at every single wedding we design…for good reason.
Bane, because I can’t get blooming branches year-round. Mother Nature only graces us with their presence on one, maybe two weekends each year, during those few radiant days when spring is at her very best. Being in the service industry, event designers want nothing more than to give our clients, well, everything. Sadly, Nature is a fickle (albeit beautiful) woman who leaves us with little choice but to disappoint October brides desperately dreaming of blooming branches and New Year’s Eve shindig throwers pining for peonies.
Some may see Mother Nature’s seemingly selfish schedule as an annoyance, but I see it as a blessing in disguise. It forces us to stop, let go of a little bit of control (we could all benefit from doing this a bit more) and appreciate what’s here right now. In this modern world of endless opportunities for instant gratification (television on demand anyone?), I find it refreshing that She is still in charge. Living here in NYC, going about our busy schedules come hell or high water, it can be hard to remember that we’re in nature at all. We are.
Today there are more beautiful flowers available, more days of the year, in more places, than at any time in history. The power of science and technology has given us the bad habit of expecting whatever we want whenever we want it. Well here’s a thought: if you have your heart set on a February wedding but long to have a centerpiece made of blooming cherry tree blossoms without breaking the bank, why not consult with Momma instead? She may not be able to give you the branches you want, but you can rest assured she’s got a whole set of gorgeous, exquisite blooms you can pick from – there’s an array of lovely options 365 days a year.
With her time-tested tools of temperature, light and moisture, Mother Nature dictates when we can have her best and most glorious beauties. Instead of arguing with her, enjoy them while you can.
The Secret Ingredient: Stop and smell the roses.
P.S. When you’re done, enjoy this very apropos commercial for Margarine.