feed our souls, too / by Carey Pace

"Life is meant to be more than just a struggle to survive. Fujimura recalls how he and his wife, Judy, were in such a survival mode early in their marriage. On a day when the refrigerator was empty and the cash was gone, Judy came home with a bouquet of flowers. Makoto blew up, demanding, “How could you think of buying flowers if we can’t even eat!” To which Judy replied, “We need to feed our souls, too.”1 This sparked an epiphany for Makoto, opening his mind to conceive of beauty as a human need. The bouquet becomes a central symbol of the author’s vision: “What I call Culture Care is a generative approach to culture that brings bouquets of flowers into a culture bereft of beauty.”"

Quoted from the article: An Artist's Vision for Culture Care By Steven C. Wright http://www.breakpoint.org/the-center/columns/call-response/22269-an-artists-vision-for-culture-care

It didn't make sense for Shawn to go all the way home to pick the Boy up for basketball practice only to turn around and go back to nearly where he'd began in the first place. We met Shawn in the Kroger parking lot to switch off, and the Lady and I went inside to purchase some groceries for the next week. I had promised her that she could look at the stuffed animals in the floral department as long as she wanted and she was quite excited.

Unfortunately, the stuffed animal selection at the Martinsville Kroger is rather lacking in comparison to the Kingsport Food City and she was quite disappointed. We rounded a corner in the hopes of finding a pocket of plush goodness we'd overlooked the first time around.

I'm not one to buy flowers very often. It isn't that I don't enjoy them; quite the contrary. But it is hard to justify the expense of something that will wither sooner rather than later, when that money could be put to much better use. Usually I just don't look, so I'm not disappointed at the beauty I can't take home.

But this day, an unusual flower caught my eye. There were calla lilies in the center of the floral display! Two different purple shades, one a deep, rich tone and the other a more warm plum. I'd never seen purple calla lilies before. I picked up a bunch of them and handed them toward the Lady. "These are calla lilies, Lady," I said. "They were the flowers that Daddy and I had in our wedding! Except ours were white. I'd wanted a coral color but we couldn't get them then. But aren't they beautiful?"

"Hmm," she grunted absentmindedly. She didn't pay them much attention. Flowers are flowers to her. They're all beautiful. She was more concerned with finding the hidden stuffed animals. Then I looked down at the price tag. "Eight dollars for FOUR stems! No way!" I spat out in shock, and I placed the bundle back into the vase with the other lilies. Unbeknownst to me, however, the manager was walking behind me as that happened.

"Okay," she said. "How much WOULD you pay for them then?" Uhhhhh.... you've got the wrong person! I am NOT a negotiator. Please don't make me do this! But I wanted those beautiful purple calla lilies. So I said, "How about three dollars?" "Sold! Now pick out your favorite one in there" and she wrote a note on the bag.

When I got home I discovered there were actually five stems in the bunch I'd chosen. Five purple calla lilies to brighten my table, and my day, and serve as a little reminder of that day we got married surrounded by hundreds of white calla lilies that were flown in from Oregon.