I don’t particularly like flowers. Or rather, I like looking at them but I would never go out to buy plant seeds and make painstaking attempts to grow my own. I admire beautifully-kept gardens but am not one to relish the process of striding towards unruly bushes with trowel and secateurs in hand. I don’t know whether this aversion to getting my hands dirty and spending hours bent double sifting soil will remain with me forever, although perhaps there is a connection between age and willingness to devote time, money and effort to making your immediate surroundings flowery and bright or calm and tranquil. There is, however, something undeniably rejuvenating and wholesome about fresh flowers – be they wild or lovingly greenhouse-grown.
One aspect of greenery that must be universally acknowledged is it’s comparisons to other examples of new ventures, beginnings and ultimately – life. I once read a newspaper article which shunned the traditionally January-made New Year’s resolutions, suggesting instead that there would be something like a 60% better chance of them being kept if made in March or April, when Spring was well under-way. The claim for this apparently lay in the belief that the season offered an altogether more optimistic outlook on life due to factors such as there being longer hours of daylight, (supposedly) warmer weather and a more abundant sense of positivity throughout the land as opposed to the bleak oppressiveness of dark January mornings.
In the interest of becoming a more-rounded individual, I myself have invested in this period of “change”. I remember writing a post on the theme of “transition” last August in which I outline my feelings about the fruitful promise any type of change can bring. I even coloured the page with one of the most memorable posters from President Obama’s 2008 election campaign – the now ubiquitous “change” image. Watching his inauguration live on television whilst eating my tea in my school uniform I was inspired by his speech; by his clear direction and determination. We all experience change whether it is something we covet or not – but it is those who embrace it who believe in its goodness.
Personal changes are often the catalyst for making a new beginning or starting a positive stretch. For example, I had an appointment at my hairdresser’s on Saturday and when I arrived I told my stylist that I wanted curly hair (it’s currently short and straight). She said “no problem” and within an hour I exited the salon happy, my face framed with curled locks. Of course it looked perfect for the rest of the day but proved somewhat difficult to emulate the day after and the day after that. When Monday came I arrived in school with a version not completely dissimilar from the style I donned at the weekend but it was considerably less well-curled. It’s a significant change for me, although to borrow a scientific process it is a “reversible change”.
It only takes a comb through with water and my hair is poker straight once more, as it is today because I couldn’t summon the energy to wake up twenty minutes early to painstakingly create twenty-something curls. It’s still change though; having a new style I can adopt whenever I fancy, to be made permanent in June when it’s chemically waved. The term “waved” is apparently the new “permed”; to invoke fewer shudders as people cast their minds back to painful memories of 80s ringlets gone wrong. However vain it may sound, this will mark the beginning of a long and (hopefully) enjoyable summer for me, which is why this kind of transformation is as important in my mind to global changes we experiences as nations or continents. Shouldn’t we all be advocates of change?
The photographs were taken on a coastal walk over Easter.