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The Flowers’ Final Song

The middle of a long weekend, and the morning sun is heavy and hot. The air doesn’t hold that flawless clarity of fall, but only a few puffy white clouds are adrift across the sky.

It’s going to be a day to try to stay cool.

Meanwhile, the fields continue to burn, the grass shrivels and the leaves turn. It seems incorrect to say that the turning is occurring apace, since the beginning and the rate are both far outpacing more ordinary patterns now. But the morning is mostly quietly save for the array of birds congregating around the feeders and the faint whispers of the breeze through drying petals and leaves.

We are hearing the notes of the flowers’ final song of season and year.

And yet, “final” does not mean final; not now, and frankly not ever in the life of this floating rock we know as our Mother Earth. That is the great and powerful gift of a world with shifting seasons, one in which dormancy is at least as common as death, and one in which one ending is merely a sowing of the seeds of the next beginning, of new flowering worlds to succeed their own past lives — no reincarnation, this, nor resurrection, either, but renewal and rebirth and the Earth’s own reclamation of her very self.

Today’s featured work, one of my own personal favorites, embodies all of this hope and promise. It’s a pair of earrings as half-spheres, traditional conchas milled and shaped by hand to allow the wildflowers that give this land such glorious life to rise and catch the light. From their description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Flowering Worlds Earrings

Summer brings us the gift of flowering worlds, alive and fertile and awash in petaled light. Wings evokes orbs and blossoms both with these dynamic earrings, near-perfect spheres hand-milled in a profusion of wild blooms. Each dangling drop is formed from a bold sterling silver concha, ever so slightly oval in shape and fully three-dimensional half-spheres. Each concha is milled in a vibrant wildflower pattern reminiscent of ’60s “flower power” motifs, each flowing petal rising in sharp relief. The earrings are domed, repoussé-fashion, to provide extraordinary depth; delicate holes hand-drilled at the top hold sterling silver wires. Earrings hang 1-15/16″ long by 1-7/8″ across, excluding wires (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver
$475 + shipping, handling, and insurance

In this place, there are wildflowers that can bloom well into fall, but winter is long and hard here. There will be months without a petal visible anywhere . . . and yet, we know they will return. The wild sunflowers, especially, are proof of that; their dried autumnal stalks and heads provide shelter and seed to an endless parade of migratory siskins, and the roots beneath will regrow green stems to flower next year.

They are leaving us early this year; deepened drought and the soil changes it causes are the culprits. But they are defiant spirits, heads heavy, yet always seeking the face of the sun, always dancing in the light. Yes, their petals are slowly turning now, but the flowers’ final song is nothing less that a promise: of hope, of life itself.

~ Aji








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