Look at beauty's gift to us - her power is so great she enlivens the earth, the sky, our soul.
We're never too old for beauty. No matter how old we are, we can enjoy a bouquet of flowers. The more informal the better, particularly in the summer. Early last summer, I stayed at my parent's house while they were both at a rehab center. It was one of those unusual occurrences that has never happened before and may never happen again, when they were both in the hospital at the same time. My mother had an unexplained bleeding episode that left her weak and barely able to walk. My father had fallen off a chair and fractured a vertebrae in his back and, then, while my mom was still in the hospital threw up a frightening quantity of blood. My sister was there at the time or he might not have survived. After my parents were ready to leave the hospital, they both needed a few weeks at rehab and so I stayed on - I had already flown out when my mom went into the hospital - and took care of the house and visited them every day in rehab.
It was late April, then early May, and there were many things blooming in my parent's yard. So every day or two I would pick a small bouquet and bring it to the rehab center. My mother particularly enjoyed the flowers. My dad was too grumpy to enjoy them - he'd never been in a rehab center and rarely in the hospital before despite the fact that he was 78 at the time. Bringing flowers cheered my mother up, slightly cheered up my father, and even cheered me up. It was one small thing that I could do to brighten up their stay in rehab. The care is good at the rehab center where they stayed, but the decor is, to be generous, drab. Flowers are one of summer's greatest gifts and, since my parents weren't able to go to see their flowers, I brought the flowers to them.
If you (or your parent(s)) don't have any flowers, buying some at a local farmer's market or shop is always fun. Local flowers are not only "greener," they are often fresher and less expensive. If you are a long distance caregiver, there are many options for ordering flowers online. Here are a few listed below.
Research has shown that flowers can provide health benefits, particularly to the elderly. One article makes big claims for the power of flowers. I don't know if I'm completely convinced, however, it makes for interesting reading. Besides, my own experience tells me that there's something to it. Yesterday, I was having a tough day for various reasons. My husband picked a beautiful bouquet of zinnias from our garden and, as I write this, I look at them from time-to-time and I have to admit that they do lift my spirits, just as they did when my husband brought them in yesterday and put them into a charming pottery pitcher and set them on the dining room table. That was a nice surprise.