Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Language of Flowers

I've heard of the language of flowers before.  Like the time Jeremy was reading an article on the Art of Manliness about wearing boutonnieres which warned of not wearing just any flower because you may not realize the "message" you are sending with that flower.

The Language of Flowers written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, is about a difficult 18-year-old girl being "emancipated" from the foster care/group home system.  She has often used the language of flowers to communicate with people around her without them realizing her meanings.  As she works on creating a life for herself as an "adult" we also get glimpses of a significant period of time from her past, then watch the connection between the two become apparent.  

As her story progresses, she has the opportunity for happiness, but she holds herself back from allowing that to happen.  She allows her damaged past to keep her from feeling deserving of happiness or success in her relationships and her life.  For a period of time she looses everything that she had been able to achieve, and it is only after she learns to accept herself and to allow herself to have imperfections that she is able to allow herself to have happiness and success in her relationships an life.

I loved this story and immediately began to reread it upon completing it.  I wanted to go back to reread the passages now that I understood how the whole story worked out together.

Lately I have pondered over the topic of whether or not it is appropriate for me to "like" books in which the characters are not living the moral standards that I believe are important.  This book would fall in that category.  But the ending message of the story is definitely appropriate and important.  Victoria's past was not perfect, and she felt like that meant she could not have a perfect future.  I have an imperfect past.  There are many things in my life that are far from the ideal circumstances I would have hoped for.  So do I allow myself to believe that I have no chance for a happy future?  I love how Victoria came to understand that she could accept her past and just let it be and not allow it to keep her from the possibilities of her future.

I now have an aching desire to propagate Moss in my garden.  Moss which means "maternal love" grows without roots.  And I can use motherhood as a metaphor for my whole life and accept that goodness can grow notwithstanding a lack of what I might consider necessary roots.

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