Flowers always fascinate me and I “blame” this largely on my mother, who took great pains to make sure my brother and I didn’t take her beloved flowers for granted. She’d constantly point flowers out on walks, in the car, during our obscenely long sojourns to Home Depot – everywhere. With a limited budget, she personally (like with her bare, ungloved hands [to my annoyance]) tended to a massive garden that at one point yielded a dining table full of roses, jasmine, marigold, narcissus, tulips, iris, lavender and hyacinth. I remember her pride and joy, pointing out all the flowers by name, beseeching my 8 year old self to smell and experience the fruits of her labor. Nowadays, I’ll be walking, absorbed in my little world and suddenly notice the precise colorings on flowers. The way it looks like someone with a perfect hand painted on the details and made sure the shading complemented the colors perfectly. This iris was growing on the side of the road, just doing its inanimate thing. Naturally, I had to stop and take a closer look at the texture and pattern and furl of the petal. What beauty surrounds us constantly and what little time it takes to just notice! And what painstaking effort mama underwent to get me to this point.