conserving spirit

A few years ago I tried selling Fleur.  There was a lot happening in my life, and the thought of applying for graduate school to study landscape architecture was a lot more appealing.  A few people were interested, but two couldn't convince a bank to loan them the money.  Those were days filled with ups and downs, anxiety and excitement.  Others reached out, but by that point, waiting for banks to just say no, some things had changed.  I started to fall in love with the flowers again.  At first it was because I had no choice.  Business must go on, weddings were booked and the shop had to be open.  Eventually, slowly, I started to remember those first days of excitement, when I entered the market and saw persimmons on branches next to pink pepper berry in buckets.  I was reminded that I always wanted to work in a greenhouse.  And when I didn't get a job at any of the local garden centers (a friend discouraged me), I wanted to draw studies of plants (I still do, although not often enough).  These memories made me realize that it's amazing feeling reconnected to something that has been a part of your life for as long as you remember.  My mother was a gardener, and maybe I already shared with you the story when I pulled up all the snapdragons.  I wanted to show her what miraculously grew over night (She had planted them earlier in the day, and when she saw what I had done and was rightfully upset, I just felt bitter she didn't save them to plant with me - imagine that.  A mom just wanted some time alone in her garden).   As a child I would hide in the peony bushes during hide and seek and loved the lilac bushes in the yard.  My family saved the marigold seeds to grow more the following year and I don't know if anyone knows this, but I talked to the rose bushes because I truly believed in fairies and unicorns and thought they lived together in our yard.  In any case, after long weeks like this one when part of your staff is sick and the other half shines through to finish your last insane weekend of the year with six events, putting up with me barking assembly line orders to keep things organized and moving and they still smile (and make me smile, too).  When your van breaks down and your Dad comes and saves the day.  When it rains and is cold, but everyone around you is smiling and giving you warmth with their support and love.  Well, it's nice to remember all the things that are inspiring and good about life.  Fleur is changing.  Some of you know that we're rebranding.  We're even changing our name a little bit.   It's because of all the goodness and love and hard work and integrity of the people around me that we can do this.  And on hard, long, rainy days, it's nice to think about the things that keep you inspired and excited for tomorrow.  Thank you to everyone who helped me keep some spirit this week.

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(I took these photos at the Garfield Park Conservatory not too long ago.  The best place in Chicago to regain some spirit.) xo