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I buy myself flowers regularly; they provide an instant infusion of beauty into my space.

Flowers are also one of those small luxuries that are easily accessible to anyone. So, I indulge.

I will admit, though, that every year after peony season, I go into a mourning period.  Sunflowers begin appearing in abundance all over the city, all sunny and cheery, but to no avail.  No blossom can move me quite the way the peonies do.

But these last few weeks, my apartment has felt sad, so I decided it was time to open my heart to some other bloom.

Enter the deli selling two dozen roses for $10.

One of the things I love about New York City is that you can find flowers on almost every street corner inexpensively.  This particular deli had such a variety of vibrantly hued roses and a man working in the flower section that offered sunshine in his smile.  So I opened my wallet and bought these long stemmed roses.

Not only were they beautiful, but they were deeply perfumed in that rose scent that seems long forgotten, yet so familiar.


This morning I woke up, my eyes opening and at first sight seeing these roses, and they made me happy.  The buds had burst open, as if they couldn’t contain themselves in all of their sensual voluptuousness.

My day began full of joy brought on by my rose colored moment.

Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

–Mary Oliver, “Peonies”

Every spring my love affair with peonies is renewed.  I’m obsessed with them.

How can you not be captivated by their beauty, in all of their voluptuous exquisiteness?





Typically blooming only for one week in May and June, their season is short, making their earthly presence that much more exceptional.  I keep a bouquet on my table whenever I can find them as a celebration of the robust, fragrant, magnificent gifts that life gives us.

Peonies are my reminder to be present, appreciate beauty—no matter how fleeting…most especially when it is fleeting—and to take in magical goodness when it is in front of me.

Holiday Peonies

Though I love many flowers, peonies by far are my favorite. They have a relatively short season, blooming in May and June, so I make sure to have fresh, voluptuous blossoms in my apartment every week for as long as I can find them.

Imagine my surprise when I spotted them in the store this afternoon!  Of course I had to buy some.



I consider them an early Christmas present of beauty.


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