Recently I came across a post from one of my favorite garden photographers, David Perry. Entitled “Flowers Aren’t Just for Sissies,” it immediately brought to mind the scenes I witnessed during my trip to Mexico earlier this month during the Day of the Dead celebration. Perry’s message, aimed at “tough guy” types, includes the point that it’s OK to put cut flowers in something other than a delicate crystal vase.
Like, for example, these lovingly arranged flowers in metal cans – or other humble containers – that I saw repeatedly in the old cemetery in San Miguel de Allende on the Day of the Dead while we were there.
The cemetery was filled with families, including plenty of men, who were celebrating the lives of their beloved but departed family members by freshening graves (including piling newly dug soil on top of tombstones) and painting memorial niches.
Were there more elaborate memorials with formally arranged flowers? Absolutely.
What stays with me the most clearly, however, are the more humble offerings – and their simple, unassuming containers – that I saw at most of the graves or memorials. Flower offerings, whether for yourself, a friend, or the table, don’t have to be elaborately displayed. After all, it’s the flowers that are taking center stage and which you choose for your message.