My sister lives a two hour plane flight from me, and, to complicate matters, we did not grow up together. I am a decade older than her, having been given up for adoption at birth. We first met when she was 11 and I was 21, but we didn’t meet until I was 31 and she was 21.
I don’t know if she liked perfume then. Quite possibly. I certainly did. But age, and circumstance and distance have made the getting to know you process rather slow. There’s that word again. Its taken until quite recently for me to winkle out of her important details like her favourite flower. It’s gardenia.
Does a flower say something about the one who adores it? In that case, my sister is ravishing and intense. What would the gardenia say to R? Probably not something as banal as ‘Thanks’, although gratitude is never banal. The adoration of flowers, in general, says something about the recognition of the importance of beauty, and diversity. I don’t know how many flowers exist in the world, although I should probably find out. (And would you could cultivars or just species??) The gardenia is right for a girl born in the tropics. ‘I am a traveller from distant lands’, it says to R, ‘bringing serenity and love’. That makes her gardenia sound like a bodhisattva. What a happy thought!