Power to the Flower

PHOTO: JESS DRAWHORN

ESSAY: KATE WEINER

In the wake of last week’s Kavanaugh hearings—a brutal reminder of the fascist regime we are fighting against and the pernicious pull of the patriarchy—I’ve discovered that the medicine that I most need for my rage is interwoven into the tender stems of orange dahlias and the vivid yellow of early autumn sunflowers.

When I reflect on my need to surround myself with flowers—with beauty, with tenderness, with color—I am awakened to the true power of the flower to heal. As I navigate how to channel my anger into action, flowers have emerged for me like guideposts. I walk through the community gardens near my home and see in the trails of California poppies and blooms of technicolor zinnias the seeds for the feminine energy that we so desperately need to better heal our fractured society. I carry a bouquet of farmers’ market flowers home and the impermanence of this gathering of tangled stems and cherished marigolds affirms for me that this too shall pass.

During dark days, it can be difficult to find our way from reckless rage toward embodied hope. If you don’t know what to do with yourself, if the hearings have awakened in you the histories of oppression that are braided into every woman’s bloodstream, give yourself the gift of flowers. Fill your home with bodacious dahlias and bold sunflowers. Find a flower bed and sink your hands into the soil. Forage for wildflowers with reverence, reciprocity, and respect. Faced with the patriarchy, choosing to revel in luscious and life-giving blooms is a radical act of resistance. It’s a reminder that so many of the feminine characteristics we have been socialized to subdue—a passion for beauty, an appreciation for tenderness, a pursuit of embodied truth—are sources of power.

Like so many of you, the last few days have hit me hard. I’ve been returned to feelings of powerlessness and memories of sexual harassment. I’ve grieved for every vibrant and vital being whose traumatic experiences have not been honored and whose voices have not been heard. And so I have turned to flowers, and found in their wild beauty and commitment to bloom, an understanding of what I need to do to be a part of the regeneration and resistance. The matriarchy is rising, loamy loves. The flowers are showing us so.

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Kate WeinerComment