Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Reflection of Daily Life

My teacher had left over jasmine and orchid from her arrangement for Fay’s life celebration. With a new pair of metal vases, which I bought through her some time ago, I made a double arrangement using those materials.

When I finished, I asked her to criticize. “Very nice, Especially the one in lower vase. Just by itself, it’s a nice arrangement.” My teacher said and then removed the tall vase from the double. I took a picture of the arrangement in the lower vase.

“Now, if you do not mind, I will rearrange the double.”

“Please go ahead, that’s how I can learn.”

Few minutes later, the new double arrangement was ready. I saw the big difference between my teacher’s and mine. In her arrangement, I could clearly point out “heaven, man and earth” which are the 3 basic elements for almost any ikebana arrangement. Compared with it, mine was busy and less focused.

I realized that I forgot the basic when the arrangement got little bit complicated (double, in this case.) Further more, I realized that I made similar mistakes in my daily life. The basic principle should be applied to any situation, no matter simple or complicated. I was happy for what I learned, not only the flower arrangement, but what I would apply to my daily life.

I separated the double.

I gave the arrangement in the tall vase to Shirley. She had just been elected as president of SOAR Education Foundation, which I have volunteered for years. Everyone in SOAR appreciates her acceptance by overcoming some of her own personal difficulties. She did great job in her first term as president. Shirley is also my mentor at SOAR Foundation, she taught me a lot. Shirley was happy to see the arrangement, she brought it to SOAR office for the volunteers to enjoy.

I brought the arrangement in lower vase to office and gave it to my friend W to enjoy. Orchid is W’s favorite flower. I have to give W credit, she took very good care of the flowers I gave her. She NEVER failed to water the flowers. Even though, I just could not help myself to go to W’s desk to check how the flowers doing when I worked in the office doing system maintenance on the following Saturday. I worried that my flowers might not get enough water over the weekend.

I took the vase and the flowers to the sink. While I stood there and was busy to change the water and cut the flower stems, I suddenly realized that I could understand why some mothers “intervene” their children’s life even when the children became adults and married. That’s exactly what I was doing – I could not leave my flowers even after I gave them away and they were taking cared very well.

I cannot say how much I have learned from flowers and by arranging ikebana since I practiced ikebana. They have been my mirrors. I use them to reflect my daily life, they helped me to realize my own shortcomings; to understand others; and to improve myself in many ways.

Enjoy the flower arrangements and Happy Monday!

In Friendship through Flowers,


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