I’m going to go out on a limb here—or more specifically—a branch from my peach tree dotted with tiny spring blossoms and declare that buying oneself flowers is a radical act of self-care. Years ago, I never would have imagined that fresh flowers could be as impactful as a long, salty bath, or a hot-stone massage, but my six years as a flower farmer have changed my mind. Buying flower, I have learned, is a powerful way to be kind to yourself.
One of my CSA customers named Rebekah wrote to me recently to say, “The flowers are beautiful and bring joy. I am learning that moms have to pay close attention to self-care. This is not an indulgence, nor is it selfish; it’s a requirement that lets us nurture our families and serve others.”
Another Rebecca, a middle-school teacher who buys flowers every few weeks, told me, “I buy the flowers for myself; I refuse to wait for others to treat me. I always try to have fresh flowers in my classroom too. The flowers are a part of our classroom comfort, making it homey and less formal.”
But flowers are expensive, right?
Let’s do the flower math: Local flowers can be more pricey than a bouquet purchased from a big box or grocery store, this is true. However, for about $20 you can buy a lovely bouquet of locally grown flowers that will last days longer than any traditional (and often heavily sprayed) bouquet. These flowers will enliven your environment and feed your soul well beyond the glow of a facial, and the “burn time” will outlast any pricey candle. I would argue that this humble purchase is a self-care bargain!
As I write this now, I have on my desk a small Mexican pottery vase with a few frilly pink mums that look like café au lait dahlias. This bright spot is as necessary to me as a cup of hot tea or my sherpa-lined slides. Flowers are a steady companion in an increasingly difficult world. And flowers, so often the muse of painters of poets, simply bring us joy. I cannot count the times my eye is drawn to this quiet offering and each time I remember to breathe in and be in the moment.
Back to that delicate but provocative branch (or two), casually arranged in a vase on my dining room table: I enthusiastically say do it! Buy yourself the flowers and place them where they will accompany you the most—perhaps in your classroom or your work-from-home space? Don’t wait for someone else to buy them for you, this is a genuine pleasure that you bestow on yourself. This is a nourishing gesture that will remind you of all the beauty and gentleness the world has to offer. This is a radical act of self-love.