The Essence of a Spring Bouquet

A collaborative piece from our farm and Amanda Buda, Flower Essence Expert.

Life for all of us has changed dramatically these past months. Routines disrupted, plans postponed and new precautions for safe living are all a part of our new normal. For me, one of the hardest things to adapt to is the fact that my Kung Fu school has been closed for almost 2 months now, but thankfully the garden is offering another season of the 36 Chambers of Shaolin for me to train in. This part of the early season we’ve been working hard to bring together the best of Alberta grown flowers this time of year, and it has been a great way to stay flower focused and help spread joy and beauty to our community.

One of my Seejays, or Kung Fu sisters, Amanda Buda, is an artist I admire. Not only is she mastering the Wing Chun art form, but we have bonded on shared interests of writing and nature. She is a trained flower essence expert and has completed writing two sci-fi fantasy novels. In the wake of this upheaval we have stayed in touch, and I knew she had more to offer in her areas of expertise. Hoping to put some of her many talents to use I asked her, would she mind analyzing one of our Alberta grown spring bunches and write a piece for our blog to share with our followers.

While I know around here it’s usually the ranting on one madwoman, me, and I appreciate your appetite for our brand of creativity, but now more than ever, we need to build up our collective. I know this platform is not boasting thousands of subscribers, but in the spirit of DIY we knew we could build a platform for our communities to express themselves. These are the kinds of seeds that we must continue to plant so that when this is all over we can reap the sowings for a better tomorrow. So with no further introduction, Amanda Buda’s first flower essence column:

I am a flower essence expert. After years of learning the patterns of flowers on my own, I studied with flower essence leaders, who I consider to be the best in the world. Those best told me my work was among the best they had ever seen. True, I have a mind for the mythic.

But so do you.

Flower essences are made through a structured procedure including placing blossoms in pure water in the sun, then later preserving that water, flower-free, in quality brandy, then diluting. The energetic information of the flower remains and is taken by a few drops into the mouth or sipping water. A flower is a bridge between the world of mythic forms and physical reality. Observe the flower Bleeding Heart: it blooms into a heart split open, dripping tears, broken. According to research by the Flower Essence Society, Bleeding Heart flower essence can heal codependency troubles, and offer solace in the ending of relationships. (Richard Katz, Bleeding Hearts: Mending Broken Hearts, Flower Essence Services. April 24, 2020.) (Also see the description of Bleeding Heart essence in the website’s shop.) Flower essences centre us in the experience we are in, so that we can emotionally and spiritually heal and grow.

The landscape where a plant typically grows, the time of year the plant blossoms, the elements prevalent, such as light levels or melting snow during flowering, even what insects may visit the plant, all suggest information about the healing powers of the flower that are grounded from the cosmos to the earth. Thorough flower essence researchers will present information about the energetics of a flower after gathering consistent results. But learning the story of the plant is not hard, and part of being a human of the earth. All that is required is observation. The mythic mind is quite willing to waken.

A bouquet artist, a flower farmer, gathers flowers using her mythic mind.

The early spring bouquet by Love & Fantasy Flower Farms, at first glance: blossomed Pussy Willows and Tulip bud stems bundled with dried flowers and other curious pieces of last year’s growth.

But, observe.

The Pussy Willows are exciting; we all know they are among the first signs of spring. We are already leaping ahead of them—you are, I am, aching for longer, brighter, softer days. Easier days, the sun on our face. Here is a Cattail—you can see, in your mind’s eye, the red-winged blackbird riding a patch of them, swaying in the lake’s breeze. Here are the Bunny Tails that seem to blend echoes of the Cattail and Pussy Willows and…

Is that a Poppy pod? I quickly want to upend the stem and let the seeds out. But I have no ground to work with. I settle for shaking the pod, just to listen…

What are the dried seed sprigs? I recognize them; they have caught me many times on the side of the ravine, and I have wondered what flower produced them. I still don’t know, but I catch the scent of baked, dusty packed soil, I hear the song sparrows closer to the river. What could come of these seeds?

I see last year’s efforts, the dried purple Statice. Much of this bouquet is last year’s growth. Though beautifully and expertly preserved, winter, as always, was long and hard on the soul. For me personally, this past winter was a bitter, starless night—the quintessential dark night of the soul, the kind of dark night that one hopes to only have to endure once in a lifetime, and never again. These dark nights come for us in the cycles of our lives, sooner or later, and as with winter, we must find a way to endure. To preserve of our essence what is worthy, to hold patiently the seeds we have developed deep within ourselves, while we wait, our faith wavering, for the season to turn.

And so, while the Pussy Willows have caught my attention, what I am waiting for, are those Tulips.

Those Tulip buds, bound with last year’s growth, daring me to believe.

A day after the bouquet is delivered, the Tulip buds begin to open, glowing intensely in the unnameable colours of sunrise, saying, “I told you so.”

The petals widen, the colours soften, as does the dawn sky with the heightening of the sun. But this is not to disappoint, for the Tulip stems lengthen, sprawling, as the petals are loosed. The mason jar cannot contain these flowers. Spring is not neat and tidy, it cannot be held back.

But the Tulips, luscious and thrilling, are spent after a week. There, and then gone.

Of the seasons, of the seasons of my own life, I have asked myself, I have asked the universe, what seems like too many times: What was it all for?

That Black Wheat.

Thin and long and nearly hidden, until the Tulips are finished. That Black Wheat, so perfect and elegant, so suggestive— throughout cultures and ages—of that one thing.

The harvest.

Put in your seasons, and there will be a harvest. You will be nourished by your efforts. It is promised.

There is a place deep inside you that understands what has been gathered in this early spring bouquet. (Perhaps you simply believed you were attracted to its beauty. And, you were.)


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