Wednesdays, while the sun sets, I drive the Mitsubishi van along the winding roads of Naramata. I sit in the right side and hug the wrong side of the road.
Empty trays and baskets rattle around, assuring me that it was a successful day at the farmers market.
I pull into Lisa’s driveway. It is time to pick up the weekly flower order. Usually, her Dad comes out to greet me, and we awkwardly say hello — he is hard of hearing and speaks Chinese. I speak louder and wave my arms like a dummy, I am sure of it.
She says it is her hobby, growing flowers. But I can tell that it is more. Their backyard is flowers, their front yard is flowers, and their garage is for the flowers.
Lisa is a defender of flowers and her Dad is the ninja. I have seen it with my own two eyes. Butterflies are enemies —they are caught and mercilessly crushed. Ladybugs are friends — they are kept, fed, and released.
(Did you know that a ladybug goes through the same cycle as the butterfly? Worm, cocoon, wings, and all?)
Today, I sat down with Lisa as we shook bugs off the petals and made sure we had some white, some purple, and some yellow. She told me about the hail and the earwigs. At one point she turned towards me and said, “Flowers are beautiful!”
It seems like such a simple thing to say. But it comes from a woman who mostly deals with the ugly so that she can cut off the beautiful and give it away.
I hand her some bread and she helps me back up out of the driveway.