There is a saying, “Take time to smell the flowers.” Attributed to many different sources, it means among other things– take time and be grateful. Take time and relax. Take time.
In that spirit I am sending along pictures from the amazing “super bloom” California is experiencing this spring. It is the most magnificent we have ever had, I think. It happens once a decade, but we are lucky to have had a super bloom in 2017 and now this year as well. California had an extreme drought last year and then extreme rain this past winter. And now we have flowers…and flowers. Poppies are the state flower of California and they are being celebrated—all over. And people dropping in by helicopter and influencers ruining some of the poppy beds by laying in them for Instagram pics. Yes, it’s been crazy. But, when we were there (my wife and I) on a past Sunday, it felt so magical that so much of Los Angeles it seemed was out to smell the flowers. You can see a picture of folks lined up (my wife at the end in the picture below) photographing the flowers. Flowers suddenly are the new super star!
It felt like community. It felt pagan and magical—at least for me.
I know it is virtual, FAR community, but for just a few minutes, I offer you this meditation—let’s take a breath and take time and smell the flowers. All of these pictures are from Lake Elsinore’s Walker Canyon outside of Los Angeles, which this year is visible even from space.
Poppies are celebrated in mythology for being that of the dead and of sleep—so it’s interesting to “take time and smell the flowers” in California, for that is our state flower of poppy. But it is more widely known also as a symbol of remembrance and hope.
As we move into spring, my wish is that your spring be filled with hope. And may you be able to take time to smell the flowers.
Marie Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University. She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall (Routledge 2013). She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine.