Small Talk


November 24th, 2010

Olivia brings me flowers every day. They aren't the fancy kind from a florist, they aren't even traditionally what you'd use in an arrangement. They're usually small, for small hands to grasp easily. I never would have chosen those kinds of flowering shrubs to plant around my house. She finds them on our evening walks, or when we're passing a bush on the way through a parking lot. "Mommy, I want to pick you a flower!" she'll say excitedly.


Some days, when I haven't had time to clean for a while, I'll look around a notice a lot of dead and dying flowers scattered around the house. One day I was feeling annoyed that there's just so much to do - in life, in general! - , and not enough time or energy. I swept up all the dead flowers within radius and tossed them in the trash.


Then I stopped to figuratively smell these roses and remember that there will come a day when the flowers will stop, and my girl will have other interests. I love the flowers; dead, wilted, fresh - I love them all because they came from her.


That's what I'm thankful for today.


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8 Responses to “Flowers”

  1. Sam Murai:

    Well said-Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

  2. hawaiiobsessed:

    oh, good thing to remember! I too get frustrated with the mess my kids create constantly! I try to remember they won't always be here, small and precious, making messes. Happy Thanksgiving! PS I loved you on Hawaii 5-0!

  3. Kim:

    Love the story - my granddau does the same thing - gotta remember that she won't be doing it for long.

  4. M:

    Hello Diane,

    How sweet of Olivia, just like her mom. 🙂

  5. Diane Ako:

    Thank you everyone for the very nice comments on my Hawaii 5-O experience. It was so much fun! Sorry I am less responsive on comments and such. Since I started working full time again I don't have time in the day to do Facebook or my blogs, even filtering thru the hundreds of spam a day to find that one legit comment. Not that I was that active on Facebook before, but I did like to keep on top the blogs. And when I get home at night I am either tired or I want to/ have to/ should spend time with my family/cook dinner/ clean. But I try. Thanks for understanding where I"m coming from now.

  6. Ken Conklin:

    Thanks for sharing that extraordinarily sweet story Diane.

    I've always had mixed feelings about picked flowers.

    On one hand, I LOVE the scent of yellow ginger, pua kenikeni; and the look of some flowers whose names I don't even know. So when I go to my special, secret place I often pluck a few blossoms and bring them home to keep for several days near my desk and near my bed.

    On the other hand, it troubles me that when I pluck a flower I condemn it to a premature death and also deprive other people of the chance to enjoy it. And it troubles me to see that flower slowly wilting and dying, when it might still be thriving; reminding me by its gradual shriveling and loss of scent that I am responsible.

    I live alone, so I don't have the special pleasure of a child bringing me flowers. But if I did, then at least I could blame the innocent child as the one who killed the flowers, in her wonderment and generosity, and thereby minimize my guilt as being only an accomplice after the fact.

    Would I tell a child to stop plucking flowers and bringing them to me? Probably not. Because I believe humans by right have dominion over all the creatures of the Earth. We have a right to kill flowers for our own pleasure if we choose to do so. So I'd leave it up to the child whether to continue plucking them; and certainly she has a right to bring them to her own home. But I might tell her my own mixed feelings about watching plucked flowers die and seeing their carcasses littering my landscape all shriveled and black. And so she would have a chance to grow in awareness of the feelings of the people around her, and her kuleana for environmental management.

    Sorry if I've taken a happy, inspiring story and made it all somber and ambivalent. I'm a philosopher, so I can't help myself! In case anyone wants to think more deeply about these issues, here's an essay I wrote a few years ago: "Life and Death -- Moral Shades of Gray"

  7. kanakakuuna:

    my daughter, who is 6, picks flowers for us too. and they're flowers from the neighbor's wedelia groundcover or fallen plumeria tree flowers. sometimes she'd bring home a rock that's fragile and "can write on the road like a chalk." just like you, Diane, we are thankful because one day the flowers and rocks will stop.

  8. Annie Lam:

    Enjoy her while you can and treasure every thing she gives you. It will eventually stop...

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