Start Where You Are

i remember when i first started working with flowers how every stem i touched seemed to hold such spiritual significance. it really was an awakening of sorts. i had been far too busy. too busy working for other people and trying to make my way and succeed in a corporate culture. the only place i ever really had known. when i spent my first spring then summer a few years back learning about flowers, their personalities, their quirks and their healing power i remember thinking how had i lasted so long in a world so void of feeling. nature held the key to my salvation. only why had it taken so long for me to take notice?

working with flowers has taught me more about myself than the world of advertising ever did. however fruitful those years. filled with hard work, fun and excess and the occasional debauchery, there was always something missing. i remember the first few months of composing flower arrangements with pure enthusiasm. it came so naturally. like they had been waiting for me all along. 

the flowers eventually became a business. one i'm quite proud of. this new venture of course presented it's own set of challenges not much different from the world of business i once knew. but now this was my own and there was a lot more riding on it than before. a few years in the mix and i am a seasoned floral designer with lovely work to show for it. i have learned some tough lessons along the way. just like the ad world, it is unrelenting at times. the business of flowers is very different than the flowers themselves. 

today, i think back to that first season working with flowers. before the onslaught of consultations and proposals, load-ins and breakdowns, spread sheets and profit margins. before i knew too much and then realized i know so little. before the hustle and the bullshit. especially the bullshit. it was magic minus the numbers. it was freedom without the worry. it was personal achievement before measured success. for a brief moment it was pure bliss. 

but without the before there would be no after. flowers gave me the business. and the insight and the perspective. and combined with some smarts i've given it a go. what will it look like, where will it lead and how far will it go? in my heart of hearts it doesn't really matter as long as i'm there. this much i know, for the flowers tell me so.

/ / xx

I am sure it is everyone’s experience, as it has been mine, that any discovery we make about ourselves or the meaning of life is never, like a scientific discovery, a coming upon something entirely new and unsuspected; it is rather, the coming to conscious recognition of something, which we really knew all the time but, because we were unwilling to formulate it correctly, we did not...know we knew. ~w.h. auden


Nikki said...

Thank you for such a beautiful and honest post. I'm at the very start, and it's true, every stem I touch seems to hold some kind of spiritual significance. I don't read many blog posts talking about that, so I'd be interested to know if it's common among aspiring florists. For me it goes the other way too, in that, when I see a bouquet in an ill-fitted vase or manipulated in an unnatural way, I feel saddened, even upset. Do you ever feel that way?

Sarah Ryhanen said...

this made me smile sooz.