Tuesday, 20 April 2010
By Lyn Burnstine of The Lynamber Times
I have always been dismayed over transience. I remember, all my life, feeling sadness when I looked at sunsets and rainbows. Even while glorying in their beauty, I was ever aware that they would not last. Flowers evoked that feeling in me, too. I only wanted long-lasting ones like carnations — my birth flower.
This all changed for me when I discovered a talent for photography. At last I’d found the perfect medium for preserving those displays of vivid fleeting color, and a way to share them.
At first, my little point-and-shoot camera limited me to distance shots. Those sunset and evening sky landscapes are still some of the best I’ve ever taken. I finally caught a rainbow in time, but it took ten years of trying.
In time, I was able to get a better camera, so now my collection of flower close-ups is growing apace. My goal is to have a portfolio with every kind of luscious bloom recorded in it.
My favorite — irises — have been dear to me since childhood. For my eighth-grade graduation I, with two other girls, sang, “There’s a bower of roses by Bendemeer’s Stream.” My mother made for me a shell pink, silk dress with bands of delicately handmade white lace threaded through with lavender velvet ribbons. I felt like a princess.
Since the school year ends before Memorial Day in the Midwest, the irises and roses were then at their peak of perfection. I picked a delicate lavender iris and a small handful of pale pink rosebuds, and crafted a corsage that matched, if not surpassed, the loveliness of a hothouse orchid.
I’ve had a few orchids and bouquets of roses in my life — not a lot. I seemed to inspire mostly appliances, tires and other practical gifts from the men in my life. In fact, when my husband exited my life, his stepfather said to him, “But you never even bought her any jewels!” to which my husband responded, “She never wanted them.” That was only half-true.
I didn’t care for diamonds, but I loved opals and amber, and I’m conspicuously without both. Had I been the kind of woman who did inspire flowers, they could never have equaled, in my eyes and memory, the perfection of that simple little nosegay I made for myself from the bounty of our Illinois flowerbed.
[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]