Hard to believe that this flower has lasted for two weeks. We were on our way out of the farmers market. I doubled back for a jar of homemade peach jam while Martin headed to the car. Except he didn’t. He met me at the entrance with this gorgeous glowing scarlet zinnia in hand. It matched the flowers on my skirt.
I adore zinnias. Ever since fourth grade when Mrs. Lyle sat a vase of them on her desk, I have been in love with how saturated with color they are. Pink, yellow, orange, red, I swoon over them all. And there my husband stood with this single crimson blossom. I still smile at his gesture.
We came home and I put it in the vase you see there at the left. Something about the three colors together — the intense red, the cobalt of the liquer bottle and that little virgule of green — just made my heart sing. How does a single blossom last so long? I bought an entire bouquet earlier in the summer, and they barely made it to mid-week. But this flower is magic. Maybe because she knows she was bought as a love gift? I had Martin take a photograph to preserve the memory although in truth, it’s unforgettable.
My husband, as many of you know, takes lots of photographs. And if you know he takes photographs, you know that “lots” is an understatement. For some time now I’ve wanted to join forces and put words to some of his images. I’ve started small. Every once in a while when something really speaks to me I take a few moments to meditate on what he has captured. If you like, come visit his lens/my pen.
In Victorian times the zinnia was symbolic of absence or sorrow. Probably because wild zinnias — dingy purple or muddy yellow — weren’t much to look at. The flower has undergone some heavy duty cultivation since their discovery by Spanish conquistadors conquistadoring through Mexico. For me, they have always been symbolic of joy. And now of a sweet moment of affection in the farmer’s market, too.