© 2009 Marica

095 – Cauli snowflake tutu bouquet

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.

— William Wordsworth

I saw him walking up the driveway and my heart was beating fast – so many things were going through my mind. This was our first date. What was I doing? A part of me was scared, another part of me was excited.

I didn’t notice that in his hands he held a bunch of flowers. They were flowers picked from his own garden and the final pièce de résistance was the “real” ribbon (shaped into a well formed bow) that they were tied up with. I have to admit that I fell in love with this man at that moment and nothing has changed to this day – I am still in love with him.

Lynsey did not only arrive that day with flowers, he arrived with many others gifts which he has shared with me, my children, my family and friends over the subsequent 10 years. Some of these gifts include: the gift of unconditional love, the gift of a high tolerance for ambiguity, the gift of loving different (why be normal? why not create our own normal?), the gift of possibilities and dreams, and the gift of new family and friends to share our lives with.

This evening one of these friends turned up for a surprise visit. She lives in Wanganui (Lynsey’s home town), a three hour drive north of here. It was so wonderful to see her and as usual she brought her creative enthusiasm and energy with her. Seeing her and Lynsey together I was reminded of so many fun occasions involving the two them plotting and scheming – like the time they decorated our home with palm fronds (cut down and transported all the way from Wanganui), leis, and a host of other things to set the scene for a “tropical island get away” mid-winter work party.

Tonight our friend was making a flying visit  en-route to picking up her daughter and future son-in-law from the airport at 11pm (they’re coming over for a 6 month visit from Sweden). As she was driving to Wellington our friend realised she didn’t have anything to give her daughter when she greeted her. Undeterred she worked out a solution- an ingenious one at that and one I would never have thought of in a million years.

“I was buying some strawberries and next to them was this purple cauliflower,” she said. “I had to have it so I bought it and decided to use the cauliflower to make a bouquet.”

Our friend arrived at our home with the purple cauliflower, a large piece of teal coloured net fabric (some call it tulle – you know, the stuff tutus are made of) and a roll of gold ribbon.

“You’re going to have to help me put together,” she informed us.

I looked at the colours of the three items lying there and felt immediate joy. Their vibrancy, her creative thinking, and the feeling amongst those of us present in the room that this was so ordinary and every day made the whole experience even more special.

After sharing a meal together we set about creating this cauliflower bouquet. I had a picture in my mind of how this was going to work and our friend had another.

She proceeded to tell me to divide up the net fabric into four even pieces. Then she took one piece, folded it in half, again and again, cut off some bits, cut a few more bits and then opened it out for me to see.

“This can be the first layer,” she said “Now you make one.” What I saw before me was similar to a  simple doily. I Had no idea how to go about creating my one of my own. Our friend was surprised.

“We learnt to make these snowflakes at school in Sweden,” she said. “We make lots of these at Christmas time.”

“We didn’t,” I said back to her.

She was even more stunned that I didn’t know how to do this supposedly simple task and she set about teaching me using a sheet of paper. So tonight I learnt how to make cut out paper snowflakes and then transferred this skill to cutting out something similar on a piece of net fabric.

Next it was Lynsey’s turn – this task was familiar to him so he set about creating his own little masterpiece.

When all four layers were cut and ready we set about putting everything together. I suggested all we needed now was some beads and sequins sewn on and we would have a tutu for the cauliflower – I was even prepared to do this!

“I forgot about your love of sewing tutus,” said our friend. I smiled.

As we admired the finished product I looked on at my husband and his friend and thought how magic this time together this evening was. It was completely random and unexpected. I learnt a new skill. I had fun. We spent some quality time together – too short but nonetheless quality time.

I so wished I could have been at the airport to see her hand over her gift of love to her daughter. I could only imagine the story on their faces – the sparkle of love that would pass through the hands touching, through the eyes connecting, through the visual expression of the bouquet, and the blood rushing in each other’s hearts.

Family … friends … love, especially love expressed through a cauliflower snowflake tutu bouquet … mmmm … there’s nothing better. Gifts are everywhere – we need to look for them and be open to receiving them.

09. Every day learn something new.
17. Every day look through a new lens.
18. Every day express love. Some people need to hear it. Most people need to see it. Don’t take it for granted.