Gone! A Farmer’s Market without flowers. No gifts from nature patiently waiting to be arranged, put in water and bring a room to life. Half of the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market had no stalls today. The 101 is still closed, so there is no access to Santa Barbara from the South.
Buying flowers is a Saturday morning ritual for me. I have been over the holiday look for several weeks now, looking forward to refreshing my vases and angling towards spring. When it’s over, it’s so over. The available flowers change with the season, of course. A few people like the diehard, people- pleasing sunflowers that smile back at them all year-long. You can find these flowers in any grocery store. But those year-round blooms long ago became boring for me. I no longer smile back.
Living in Japan part – time has accentuated my appreciation for the seasonal. Year-long availability for a flower or a fruit makes it much less interesting to my eye. Each season has its long-awaited seasonal celebrity appearances. There are the first flowers of spring. The cheery yellow forsythia branches are not particularly beautiful, but they have the honor of announcing that spring has arrived. A few weeks late the pinklicious Japanese magnolias demand attention. Sweet peas follow soon. In Japan, they sell them with long curling tendrils. So much lovelier than just the straight stem. Let’s not forget ranunculus, flirty and fabulous and overwhelming in its choice of colors and its lighter than air texture.
I can go to a flower shop in my neighborhood every day in Kyoto and find different blossoms to draw my attention. Small and dramatic large cut branches are available as flowering trees and shrubs come into bloom. One stunning branch can transform an interior. During camellia season, I can buy large branches, each holding many blossoms, buds and leaves. It’s inspiring! Each day I feel the anticipation. It’s a small miracle to see a favorite blossom come around the yearly cycle again. What’s more remarkable, they are mine to bring home and savour.
Today, I’d hoped for an abundance of Dendrobium to kick off the CA spring season. I am particularly partial to an acid green blossom. Today, the usual bunches of spring tulips from the growers in Carpinteria were missing, as were the sassy snapdragon and the first ranunculus and ( border on boring) tulips. There wasn’t an exotic lily in sight. It was like missing a favorite relative or friend from a family dinner or party. The dinner goes on, but a force of life is missing.
So in a small way, I personally felt the impact of our recent natural disaster. We all take certain things, people and places so for granted in our lives. It’s when they’re missing, that we realize what they’ve added to our life.
I’m fortunate enough to request, “Please come back soon.”