People throw their bouquets away too soon. It’s as if they can’t bear to see the withering away of life—not realizing that life fled the moment the stem was severed from its root. From then on, it’s all stages of death. Which is to say, the vase sitting on your desk is a fascinating paradox of generous cheer, flash, or elegance, masking a sad message of sacrifice. And so what? Flowers, like food, are part of our great chain of being.
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Dominique Browning's new book is Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, & Found Happiness. She was the editor-in-chief of House & Garden and has worked with and written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, and O. She writes a monthly column for the Environmental Defense Fund and blogs at SlowLoveLife.com.