The month of February is synon- ymous in my mind with flowers. Blossoms or bulbs, they show up in my home in great abundance.
It is a big birthday month, you see. And Valentine's Day is celebrated with flowers, sometimes, too. I think how lucky I am to have a birthday in February; flowers brighten up an otherwise still wintry month.
And my oldest daughter celebrates her birthday the day after mine, so we have always combined our special days, having one dinner instead of two back to back.
When my daughter was small, my birthday would usually be taken up with parties that involved, what seemed to me, an amazing amount of food and other people's children. During my daughter's childhood, there were years where celebrating two birthdays, with presents and parties, were just too expensive.
It was not until later, when I had time and money to indulge myself a little, that I started to appreciate the flowers that are in the markets at this time of year... every kind of flower imagin- able, if I was willing to pay the price.
In February, I am attracted to "hot" colours...the kind that bounce out at me, when I walk by them in the florist's shop. It is different at other times of the year...I am more attracted to lavenders, whites, purples and blues. But when I have had enough of cabin fever, enough of the eternal cold, fog and ice...my soul seeks bright yellows, heart stopping pinks and oranges...a reminder of the tropics.
A reminder of the Sun.
So, since the month of February holds two birthdays, along with St. Valentine's Day, I clean the vases on the last day of January, in readiness for the bouquets that flow in the door throughout the month. There is my Mother's crystal vase, the vase my daughter gave me, others with special significance, and I place these in the warm water, rinsing the accumulated grease and dust down the drain.
It is a cleansing of sorts. It reminds me that another year has gone by; that I am going to be another year older and hopefully, wiser. As I wash, I think of the events of the previous year. The joys and anticipations are honoured and I express my gratefulness to the Universe for such abundance.
The hurts are flooded with forgiveness, for myself and others, and washed away...
I don't want to start a new year in my life with a hoard of negative bundles of energy tucked away inside. I see birthdays as a fresh start, each year.
In readiness for the flowers of many colours that will decorate our home, the vases stand on the counter, sparkling and gleaming in the light.
Now all that remains is to fill them with flowers of brilliant hues, flowers that herald birthdays as gifts, giving such joy to the recipient!
February is the in-between month...the month where few flowers bloom in the garden. I will find a few branches of forsythia, quince and plum blossoms to force, and these will be tucked in amongst the floral arrangements.
And since tomorrow is the first day of February, I will treat myself to a bundle of daffodils, place them in the clear glass vase, and revel...revel in the fact that I was born so close to the full bursting of Spring.
Spring and her flowers.