One summer when I was home from college, my mom and I went to buy flowers for a dinner she was hosting for one of my college friends and her parents, who was visiting our home in Los Angeles for the first time. My mother was fawning over a super market cellophane wrapped bouquet of mixed carnations: white, red, and pink. "Aren't they beautiful? " I remember. No. Instantly, I thought. They were the tackiest bouquet and as old fashioned as the many antiques that cluttered our house as my parents were antique dealers whose living room at times resembled a warehouse stuffed with old furniture and dustibles. Carnations? Really? We can't possibly buy them? I was repelled.
In this microcosmic moment of realization in a super market, I remembered feeling independent in my cultivated taste, and modern, as the art I was studying away at school. So different from whom I thought my mother was that afternoon while shopping together. In that simple and infinitesimal moment, I remember feeling so separate and independent in heart and mind--identity and self. I think she saw it too! But nevertheless, my mother bought the carnation bouquet anyway; to my dismay! At home, I immediately mixed them with roses and other flowers from her garden for a more sophisticated presentation! I was an independent modern girl with my own point of view--and my adored my arrangement, my independence, and my new friend and her family.
And as a daughter often learns with maturity and time, my mother loved carnations because they were her mother's favorite. The very same reason why I love my roses. My grandmother though loved the fragrance of all carnations; including: white, red, and pink! Catching the scent of my bright pink carnations while weeding was another microcosmic and infinitesimal moment bringing me full circle with a deeper appreciation for my mom, myself, and that charming old fashion favorite that now grows in many varieties in this "independent modern girl's" garden--the carnation! Ha! Happy Mother's Day!