If you could be any flower, which would you be and why?
This was a question posed to us by the instructor of a gardening class I was attending, intending to help us get to know one another better. What a thought-provoking question! I could picture myself taking days, perhaps even weeks, to pour over my gardening books scanning through the millions of options. Meticulously weighing all the traits of each bloom and taking notes, maybe even making a graph. This was not a question to be taken lightly. “You have ten minutes to think about your answers,” the instructor informed us.
Panic started to set in; our minds were racing, with no reference books to help us out, we’d have to rely on our memories and experiences in our gardens. We didn’t want to make the wrong choice, pigeon-holing ourselves into being a flower that didn’t truly represent us. After all, we were announcing to everyone in the room who we were in flower form. The most straightforward answer, of course, would be to state your favorite flower. Alternatively, you could decide by playing a quick game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Still, as we were all enthusiastic gardeners, we were more inclined to delve deeper into the qualities and traits of different blooms to see which matched our personalities.
As I looked around the room, I could see the concentration on everyone’s faces as they mulled it over. Ten minutes seemed to go by at lightning speed; it was time to reveal our choices. For the most part, participants in the class answered with flowers that they felt they shared commonalities with, such as “I would be a water lily because I love the water,” or “I would be a daisy because I have a sunny disposition.” As we made our way around the room, I marveled at the answers; they were all terrific. Some chose flowers based on their love of the sun or shade; others selected blooms that flowered in their favorite season. It was apparent that a lot of thought was put into the responses, as much thought as ten minutes would allow anyway. I couldn’t help thinking that this question was a great way to get to know a person!
When it was my turn, my mouth went dry, and a bead of sweat formed on my brow. My heart started racing as my pulse quickened. The moment had arrived, and I was ready to announce my choice to the world. “I would be a peony!” I proclaimed. Now, before we go any further, I do have a confession to make; my favorite flower happens to be the peony. But, before you assume I just took the easy road to pick my answer, let me share with you my reasoning.
Firstly, peonies symbolize romance, honor, and happiness in a marriage. These are qualities I hold close to my heart, having married my high school sweetheart. We have been together for twenty-six years, sharing a beautiful life. Peonies also symbolize compassion. Being a compassionate individual is something I have strived for my entire life, putting forth the effort to have compassion for others, animals, our environment, and myself every day. Bashfulness is another trait peonies symbolize. I consider myself to be a bit shy and modest, someone who does not necessarily enjoy being in the spotlight. As a busy mom, wife, and business owner, I, much like the peony, blend into the background most of the year. I don’t view that as a bad thing, I enjoy putting my family first, being the support they need, allowing them to shine. As with the foliage of the peony, I’m not flashy, and I like to play more of a supporting role, priding myself on being dependable and steadfast.
However, as unassuming as the peony may be for most of the year, for a few special days each season, it blooms, and when it does, you get to see the beauty it holds within. I, too, enjoy those moments when I have the opportunity to show the world something beautiful about myself. Whether it be helping someone in need or showing compassion in our everyday choices, we are all given opportunities to show the world the beauty we hold within.
Perhaps, in reflection, I did choose the peony to represent me because it’s my favorite flower. However, I think it is my favorite because I feel a deep connection with how it presents itself and all that it symbolizes. I can both relate to and appreciate the traits the peony possesses, as they are traits I want to see in myself.
So, if you could be any flower, which would you be and why? It’s an important decision, I know. Take your time; I won’t limit you to ten minutes, and I won’t judge you if you want to make a graph. After all, there are millions of choices out there. Or, you could simply play a game of eeny, meeny, miny, moe.