Many years ago, when I first heard that Unitarian Universalists have an annual Flower Service, I thought it sounded, to be honest, a little hippie. I thought, you know, like, it was going to be, like, flower power. I never attended the service because at that time, in a literal and metaphorical sense, I was a gardener who had no time for flowers. I grew giant pumpkins and purple-streaked eggplants, multi-colored tomatoes and rainbow chard. Their blossoms were the flowers I tended. My efforts stopped with the practical, the utility, the usefulness of something. I took time to appreciate flowers, but not to cultivate them.

I continued to garden in much of this same way until I had some really, really tough things happen in life. The details aren’t important but perhaps you’ve been there — a combination of grief, helplessness and anger. There was nothing that could make things better. The goal each day was just not to make things worse. So I began to plant flowers. My world, the whole world, needed more beauty. I felt it was the most important thing I could do.

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