by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
I was at the grocery store the other day; you know,
the Shaw’s Market at Porter Square, Cambridge.
My helper Aime Joseph was doing his usual
efficient job of unloading the groceries onto the
conveyor belt. I was holding the flowers so they
wouldn’t get crushed.
A tired looking lady was at the cash register, a
woman of a certain age. She never looked up to
catch my eye… but when ringing up the flowers she
brightened: “Someone’s lucky today,” she said.
And without missing a beat, I said: “You!”,
whereupon I took a fervent red rose from the
bouquet and handed it to a now very surprised, rather
embarrassed but thoroughly delighted, lady.
Flower power, a little bit of greenery, some blazing
color, had done their work again. And they’ll work
as well for you, too.
Flower from the Latin flos, from the Old French flour
According to my ever useful dictionary, flower means
“A blooming plant.” It also means, and this I think more
useful, “The brightest, finest, choicest part, period, or
specimen of anything.” Thus, when you give flowers,
you give “the brightest, finest.”
Flowers transform the mundane into the memorable.
We are living through difficult times. Millions are
afflicted by a punk economy, by unemployment and
job loss, by house foreclosures and pension
shrinkage. If Charles Dickens were alive today, he
could well and truly write, “These are the worst of
times”. He might well leave off the other half of
his famous line, “These are the best of times”
as being manifestly untrue.
However, we, the living, must do the best we can…
and flowers undeniably help.
Don’t wait for a “special” occasion…. call up the
power of flowers now.
I am always amused when on such holidays as
Valentine’s Day and Christmas, I see the long lines
at the florist shoppes. It is good, of course, that
they are there; any time is a time that flowers
brighten. But these are folks (usually male) who
haven’t quite glimpsed the power of the unexpected
flower. They are there,in that never-ending line,
to cover themselves, lest they be accused of
forgetfulness and insensitivity!
Rather, I applaud the person who, quite clear
on flower power, delivers flowers today
simply because it is today, no further reason being
needed. I think I saw such a person the other
day walking down Massachusetts Avenue in my
neighborhood. A bit sheepish, he held his bouquet
high, a mixture of pride and embarrassment. I was
hopeful there was no other reason for those
flowers except to say “because you’re you…”
Know thy florists
Personally,I make it a point to know and try all the
florists in my neighborhood. I like to see their very
different approaches to the business of brightening
At Trader Joe’s, for instance, there is always an
eye-catching variety which in the Trader Joe’s tradition
is limited… but always good value. It is a pity they are
rather inconveniently located for my visits.
Tommy at the Montrose Spa added flowers to his
convenience store line about a year or so ago. They
are not his priority and as such he lets them sit too
long, petals and leaves falling off, woebegone and
in need of caring homes quickly. But Tommy waits
too long to bring the price down and so there are
always moribund flowers in the corner, sad, their
powers diminishing by the moment.
There are two florists in Harvard Square, both
conveniently located. However, I don’t patronize them
unless it’s an emergency. The folks at Brattle Street
Florist always seem too rushed to help. I like to have
a good look-see… and always appreciate the
considered opinion of the proprietor. I also like to
know when the roses came in, to be sure I am
getting them at their prime. I’m a stickler for
John at Petali, handy in Forbes Plaza, tells me
what I need to know, but he never quite focuses and
though he waves to me on days when he bicycles
past my house, I sense he is distracted, with
other things on his mind. I feel like going into his
shop and buying flowers for… him. He would smile
Then there’s the Central Square Florist. I never
go there in person. (Central Square is another world for me.
Denizens call it “between the brains”, because Harvard
is one subway stop further on and MIT is one subway stop before.)
But I have ordered so regularly over time they sent me a special
“frequent flower” card. I keep it in my wallet, but always
forget to use it. However, they seem to know me when
I call… and perhaps they give me a discount since I
am a member of their club. I never ask.
This brings us back to the flowers from Shaw’s Market.
They always seem a tad brash, bold. But they are handy,
reasonably priced, and employees are happy, when I ask,
to give me extra plant food, which I never hesitate to thank
them for and take, sometimes forgetting to use it after all.
Don’t forget the card
Flowers, despite the power of plant food, do die
in due course, despite my many ministrations.
But the card that accompanies them can last
After my mother died, I found amongst her many
effects, a few of the cards she found meaningful,
from long-ago events. Often she had taped or
stapled one of the flowers from that bouquet to the
card. In her copper-plate hand she annotated the back
of the card… which touched and reminded me how
much I missed her. Even long-dead flowers and
their cards can do that. This is why I shall never
stop buying flowers and giving them to the people
I care about… or even total strangers who seem to
need them and always smile at the gift.
About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of
Worldprofit, Inc., www.worldprofit.com where
small and home-based businesses learn how to
profit online through automation. Attend Dr. Lant’s
live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed
visitors to the website of your choice! For details
on Dr. Lant’s 18 best-selling business books,
go to www.jeffreylant.com
Author: Jeffrey LantThis author has published 572 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.