I remember the first time I saw a picture of stephanotis. I was about twelve years old, and just beginning to learn something about floral design. I was completely captivated by the beauty and delicacy of the stephanotis. I quickly found out that stephanotis was very expensive, and that it takes a lot of skill and patience to be able to work with it. I longed for a day when I would be a designer competent enough to work with it. Because of the high cost of the delicate blooms (about $1.50 per small bloom), I knew that the shop owner would not trust me with the stephanotis until I had became a very skilled designer.
I was completely enthralled when someone finally ordered a bridal bouquet that had stephanotis in it, and I was deemed to be competent to make the bouquet! From that time on, I was hooked. No matter how much work was involved in using it, I was always excited to be able to use it. Thirty-five years later, I am still fascinated by stephanotis.
Last year, I found that stephanotis would grow outside here in California. I bought a plant that was about three feet tall, and planted it by the gate that I go in and out of to get to my car. The plant quickly took root, and started growing. This year, it is producing hundreds of blooms, and I often stop to admire the tender blossoms as I go in and out. The fragrance of the stephanotis often stops me. It has a soft, delicate, yet somewhat spicy scent that I cannot resist. I stop and breathe deeply when I go through the gate, and feel almost decadent to have such a glorious mass of beauty and fragrance to enjoy whenever I want to. Somehow, it almost feels like I’m embarrassingly rich to be able to enjoy such an extravagant abundance of flowers, especially when I know my fellow floral designers are paying outrageous prices to be able to enjoy a few blossoms.
Even though it sounds cliche, having such beauty around me helps me remember that there are good things out there for everyone to enjoy. The rich don’t always have the monopoly on things of beauty. We just have to take time to enjoy what’s around us.