Go Running Through This World Giving Love Giving Love*

For many years my mother preserved the flowers that crossed her path or whose paths she crossed.  It was not unusual for her to return from a neighborhood walk with a few dainty tokens in her hands, delicate little twigs and leaves and wildflowers she had picked from the shrubbery along the way; and trips to destinations exotic or not, almost always meant that some floral or leafy souvenirs of the voyage could be found somewhere inside a purse or pocket or guidebook.   Her collection grew.  She filled many small boxes with this pretty bounty.

Most of my mother’s books and myriad notebooks lodged little flowers and leaves as well … hosting them happily, I venture. Paper and prose and flowers make for a companionable camaraderie, I suppose.   It was a common occurrence (nevertheless one that remained startling each time) to leaf open a book at random from the bookshelves at my parents, only to be greeted with the surprise of a shower of dried violets or maple leaves or buttercups or mysterious petals tumbling down.  A thing I found alternately endearing or vexing depending on my mood.

My folks recently moved and in the process purged many of their things — big things but also the kind of things one collects over the  years and keeps in forgotten drawers or dusty boxes or wooden chests in basements and attics and garages and staircase closets — useless but sentimental, worthless and priceless, forgotten until the moment of being in sight and yet an essential thread of the fabric of the memory of a family and a lifetime.  Worthy of being clutched to the breast in a last-gasp-farewell embrace but deservedly destined for the bin.  Precious, ridiculous, sentimental, cumbersome – all at once.

Most of those things had to go.  Some of those things were hard to let go of for each of my parents.  My mother, the collector of things, had the worst of it, letting go of an ocean of sea shells, a king’s ransom in quilting fabrics, and a dizzying amount of arts and crafts supplies and goodies among other things.  She fought some of these partings and others she found cathartic.  In any event, she mastered the game.

Taking purging too far, however, came when my mother voluntarily decided to toss out her entire collection of dried flowers.  I was in shock!

Sometimes you have to intervene and stop people from making poor, irrevocable decisions.  I intervened & kept them.

And this is the story of how I happen to have this treasure-trove of beautiful dried flowers that came in super-useful for a florid Valentine’s Day blog post.

Let’s finish off our Saint Valentine’s Day homage with a contemplation of love by Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī  (popularly known simply as Rumi in the West) — a Sufi, a poet, a sage, who observed:

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Have a warm and fuzzy Velentine’s Day, filled with love!

Khoda hafez till next time.

[* The title of this post “Go through this worlds giving love giving love” is a line from a translated poem of Hafiz – the great poet of Shiraz.]

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Comments (9)

  • yvonne rafi 9 years ago Reply

    azita 9 years ago Reply

    back @ you!!!

  • apuginthekitchen 9 years ago Reply

    Beautiful post, and the dried flowers are a treasure. Happy Valentines Day to you mon cheri, may your day be filled with love and happiness!

  • leduesorelle 9 years ago Reply

    Thanks for sharing your mother’s flowers, and the new-to-me poet Hafiz — lovely…

  • Fae's Twist & Tango 9 years ago Reply

    Lovely story of Maman, lovely verses, lovely family heirloom and a lovely Daughter/Azita. Much love to you on this Day of Love ♡ Fae.

  • petit4chocolatier 9 years ago Reply


    Thank you for sharing this lovely story. I love the flowers and beautiful words.

  • […] (The story of where the dried petals come from are here.) […]

  • Lilly Sue 8 years ago Reply

    Azita, I loved reading this story. What a pleasant habit/collection your mother had…that is very sweet. Thanks for sharing!

    azita houshiar 8 years ago Reply

    Thank you Lilly joon!

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