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They sell paper flowers here.

And by paper flowers I don’t mean paper flowers per se, I mean flowers that are wrapped in paper. Every bunch of flowers sold in the heart of Dublin is wrapped in the Independent or The Times. There aren’t any pre-selected cellophane travesties. You can’t buy an arrangement at the Tesco or petrol station. No, if you want flowers, your best bet is to walk into the center of the city and stand in front of the women with their buckets.

Every morning around 6 am young women, old women, gypsies, beggars, flower wholesalers, and the occasional sensitive male will show up on one of the many main drags of Dublin and bring their buckets and buckets of flowers to the city. Everything you can imagine, muted yellows, insatiable reds, dramatic blues, and romantic whites fill these obtrusive painter’s buckets.

And there, on the corners, these women wait.

And eventually, someone, anyone, walks up to the grayed woman reading the tabloidy Times and inquires into the price of lilies today? Or asks how much the daisies cost if they were to buy the entire bucket? And whether they heckle or not, someone stands in front of these buckets in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day, in the middle of Dublin town, for everyone, tourist, senator, hopeless romantic to see and asks to buy flowers… for someone…

The women always smile; they arrange their customer’s selections with great care, and after they finish, they grab a page of the paper and wrap that selection in the front page, or the comics, or whatever else is handy. They finish it with a big white bow, and send them on their way.

And off they walk, flowers in one hand, briefcase, or knapsack in the other, to where ever it is they were headed in the first place.

I love that moment.

And I don’t love it because its photo-worthy or colourful, which as you can see, it’s both. You know why I love it?

I love it because someone, who I will never know, for one brief moment, loved someone else more than themselves. I guess even more than the moment they were in. That person, man, woman, mother, sister, father, friend, for that brief fleeting instance, stopped and asked “how much the lilies were”, or “how much the bucket of daisies would cost”.

And when I see someone carrying their briefcase in one hand, and paper flowers in the other, I am moved. And its that, that inspires me to write.

And the best part of it all is that, if you keep your eyes open, there are people with paper flowers everywhere… on street corners, busses, cars, crosswalks, pubs..everywhere. So much love. Even if the flowers are just for the person who is buying them.

Every paper flower makes me smile. It makes me proud of the people I spend my lifetime on this planet with.

And I guess if I were the recipient of such a token, it would be “ The Daily Times” that ended up in my scrapbook before the scent and remembrance of the dried flowers. And why? Because there is a moment of proof positive, that sometime on the 21st of July 2004, someone loved you very much. So much so that you clouded their thoughts until they had to stop and ask about irises and daisies.

Its Amazing, isn’t it?

And that is the story of today. The one that caught me off guard.

If I were to have one wish, its this. That you stop at some flower shop and that your thoughts are so clouded by someone else that you have to buy them flowers.

I hope you do.

And that’s my story.