Kaddee’s Cairo Chronicles

May 29, 2008

Life’s path and its flowers

Filed under: Learning Curve — Kaddee @ 5:38 pm

I received an e-mail today from a dear friend. Her great excitement of the day was a gift from her Northwest garden, the opening of a beautiful poppy, the first of the season.


That got me thinking of flowers and how certain regional flowers have marked my passage thru life and geography.

I grew up in the Northeast – and when I think of “home” from that time in my life, my first thoughts include the lilacs that would bloom around Mother’s Day, and the dogwood tree blossoms from around my birthday.

lilac.jpg dogwood.jpg

Graduate school was still in the Northeast (at least on paper), but farther north, with large spans of time in the Northwest. The floral memories from that period are Tiger Lilies in New Hampshire, California Poppies in Washington, and Nasturtium everywhere.tigerlily.jpg CalifPoppy.jpgGraduate research in the PNW convinced me that it was there I had to go next. The sea and the mountains, the rain and the green-ness. I moved before I even finished my thesis! The flowers of my PNW home are callas (which I thought were hot-house flowers when I lived in the Northeast, but found to be virtual WEEDS in the PNW!) and poppies.


I’ve left the green, wet PNW and moved to Egypt. The two could not be more different, in aspects of culture, terrain, weather or flowers. The flower that defines my life here (again, something I thought was too delicate to grow outside – but is EVERYWHERE here) is the Bird-of-Paradise


Life is full of moments, memories, thoughts and emotions – and every stop on my life’s path brings new flowers. Each of my migrations has been a roller coaster of experiences, and out of each I remember the flowers.

Images from:

  • Pink poppy – dear friend SwtP
  • Lilac – leslieland.com/blog/lilac-timeing/
  • Dogwood – http://dsf.chesco.org/
  • Tiger Lily – http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/okwild/tigerlily.html
  • California Poppies – http://www.deserttortoise.org/awards/photo2006win.html
  • Calla – http://www.nps.gov/archive/prsf/nathist1/wildflowers/non_natives/calla_lily.htm
  • Bird of Paradise – http://www.eastmidlands.info/skegness/stock/bird-of-paradise.html

1 Comment

  1. I accidentally found your article while searching for lilac flower images ;-) I love your article…actually read your other articles and felt like I would have written some of those (not as articulate) for I have been going thru same things! Just moved to Midwest from Pensacola FL :-( (originally from Philippines…then VA then WA) Always loved fresh flowers, but now have loved even more the plants themselves (which made me earned my Master gardener certification)

    Comment by emma valentin — April 16, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

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