Letter to THE Flower Maker

by Melannie Svoboda SND on March 16, 2020

My Breck’s spring flower catalog came the other day. The 60 pages of beautiful colorful flowers of all kinds delighted my eyes and heart. It also inspired me to write this letter to THE Flower Maker…

Dear Flower Maker,

I have never written to you before–even though I have enjoyed your amazing artistry since I was a little child. My main question for you is this: How do you do it? How do you come up with all those ideas for the zillions of flowers you’ve made for our world? Even coming up with the ideas would be incredible. But then you bring those ideas to actual life! And not just once–but again and again! Year after year after year! Wow!

Let me tell you what I like most about your flowers. First, the colors!!! I think you’ve succeeded in making flowers in every color imaginable–from a pure white Hellebore to a deep purple Iris, from a fuschia Japanese Bottlebrush to a bright blue Hydrangea, from a vibrant yellow Daffodil to a flashy orange California Poppy, from a rich green Siberian Bugloss to delicate pink Cherry Blossoms–and every color in between. And then you mix and match and blend and swirl the colors in so many surprising and delightful ways.

I am amazed at the shapes and sizes of the flowers you make too: from the tiny white bell-shaped Lily of the Valley to the Giant Dinnerplate Dahlia with its lush layers of pink, yellow, or purple petals.

And then, of course, all those fragrances! How did you ever create such an array of distinct, pleasurable, and unforgettable scents? Just saying their names conjures up their beautiful fragrances in my nose: Gardenia… Rose… Jasmine… Sweet Pea… Wisteria… Lily of the Valley… Plumeria… Magnolia… Honeysuckle… Peony… Lilac… and the list goes on.

I know the colors, shapes, and fragrances often serve a purpose: they attract bees, butterflies, birds and other creatures whose presence pollinates the flowers, thus insuring their reproduction. But, Dear Flower Maker, didn’t you go a little overboard? Aren’t some flowers far more beautiful than they need be? Take the Columbine… the Bleeding Heart… the Dogwood… the Queen of the Prairie… and the Orchid. Someone said that you are “inordinately fond of beauty.” I think your array of flowers proves that!

So, my Dear Flower Maker, what I’m trying to say is this: Thank You! Thank You! Thank You for all the flowers you’ve made to beautify our earthly world. I love them! May we humans never take them for granted! May we continue to cherish their beauty which bestows such pleasure and lifts our spirits. May we gratefully use their beauty to adorn our homes and our yards. May we borrow their beauty to express our love for one another–and our love for You. Thank you again, Dear Flower Maker… And keep up your beautiful, beautiful work!

(All photos from Pexels)

For reflection:

Are flowers a significant part of your life? Do you grow any or use them in your life?

Do you have any favorite flowers? If so, which one(s) and why? Did any of the pictures of the flowers touch your heart today?

Would you like to say anything to THE Flower Maker?

PS: During Lent, we often choose our sacrifices. But this year, our sacrifices have chosen us–in the form of the coronavirus… Let us offer this short prayer: Creator God, be with us during this world-wide health crisis. Help us to do what we have to do to curb the spread of this virus. Bless our health care professionals, our researchers, our community and government leaders. Bless those already infected with this illness. We pray too for those who have died and for their loved ones. Help us to embrace the personal hardships this pandemic may lay upon us. May we, as a world community, work together, putting aside all selfishness, feelings of superiority, and divisiveness. Keep always before us the great truth that this pandemic underscores: we are all part of One Earth Community no matter who we are or where we live. Amen.

I found a lovely little song by Jaci Velasquez, an actress and Christian and Latin pop singer. It’s called “Flower in the Rain.” For me, the song has overtones of Lent and Easter as well as Psalm 139. And the background pictures are simply gorgeous!

I invite you to share your thoughts below on this reflection, the pictures, the song, or the other responses…

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

John E Hopkins March 16, 2020 at 4:59 am

Good morning, Sr. Melannie…
Good morning, all…

Melannie, thank you for this absolutely beautiful and prayerful letter to the Flower Maker, thank you for the lovely and hopeful song, and thank you for the heartfelt prayer regarding the pandemic we are all living with these days. I’m pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say one of our favorite flowers is the sunflower that blooms for us every Monday.

Be safe, everyone. God Bless!

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Kathleen Magiera March 16, 2020 at 5:22 am

Good Morning Everyone,

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to seize more of our daily lives, may the Flower Maker continue to reveal to us calm and beauty in times of fear and chaos.

God bless one and and all.

Kathleen

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David March 16, 2020 at 6:24 am

Amen Kathleen

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Susan Slaninka March 16, 2020 at 7:20 am

What a wonderful way to start my day. Love that you took the time to write a letter of thanks to the Flower Maker. This social isolation can give us all opportunities to write notes of appreciation like this. The daffodil is my favorite flower and I already have some blooming outside my front door greeting me as I go in and out. I have a vase filled with them in my condo too. Such a happy flower. I echo your prayers for all those impacted by the virus and pray everyone will be safe and healthy.

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Beverly Roesler March 21, 2020 at 2:25 pm

Thanks for your wonderful response. My fav. Flower is the same as yours. Praise the flower maker for all HIS beauty in HiS world!

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Thomas DeFreitas March 16, 2020 at 7:20 am

Recalling that line in Cummings’ poem “O sweet spontaneous”: “thou answerest them only with Spring”!

The tiger lily was the first flower by which I was sufficiently fascinated to ask its name. I like daffodils, such a jocund company! I like the blues and reds and yellows of flowers whose names I don’t know.

I love Spring, though it morphs too quickly into Summer for my liking. Spring is festival!

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Ed Johnson March 16, 2020 at 7:23 am

Beautiful words, Sister. A very calming, cheerful reflection during troubled times. I immediately thought of my childhood home, and dozens of peonies blooming in our backyard welcoming Memorial Day in Ohio…..such memories! I love lantana (widespread in Florida) and the attractiveness of the flower to butterflies. And the yellow flowers of butter cups are incomparable in their beauty. Amazing Creator, the Flower Maker! Peace, Blessings, and Prayers to all.
Ed J.

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Susan March 16, 2020 at 7:32 am

Thank you Sister Melanie for reminding me to stop and take a good long look at the vase of daffodils beginning to open up on my kitchen counter. It’s a good reminder that I need to do this more often with our Creator. Also, my favorite flower is the Plumeria. I love their scent and I grew up in Hawaii making flower leis out of them for our mainland visitors.

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Helen March 16, 2020 at 8:12 am

I enjoyed reading about the splendors of the Flower Maker, it reminds me of the constant care and concern He bestows on all creation. I put my trust in Him. Thank you for the uplifting reflection.

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Rebekah March 16, 2020 at 8:27 am

Thank you, Sister Melannie, for this delightful reflection on a Monday Lenten morning. I will keep my eyes even more attentive to the Flower Maker’s works. And thank you for mentioning the California poppy! Stay well.

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Elizabeth Hillegas March 16, 2020 at 8:48 am

Thank you Sister Melannie for sharing your thoughts.
Your reflection reminds me that we humans are like beautiful flowers. We represent all colors, shapes, and sizes just like the flowers of the fields. Not one flower or person is more beautiful than another. May we cherish and love differences!

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Ilene March 16, 2020 at 9:08 am

Good morning all and thank you Sr. Melanie for the beautiful prayer. You are always among the five things I’m grateful for on Monday morning. I’m comforted that while I’m praying the prayer you wrote were all praying together.
When I was little, my mother took me to my first flower show at the local elementary school. I was amazed and delighted when I saw flowers arranged in all sorts of whimsical and fun containers: teapots, mugs, shoes, boots, watering cans, top hats, “you name it.”
Reminds me that we are God’s hands and feet and co-create with the Lord.
God bless our first responders.

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Carolyn Shalhoub March 16, 2020 at 9:47 am

The beauty of the world, and especially the flowers, in their variety and extravagance has always spoken to me of the nature of God and made me look forward to knowing God more fully in the afterlife. A God who created such a gorgeous range of flowers, let alone anything else, reassures us that our variety is also intended and loved. I am always moved to thankfulness when I see the flowers, especially flowering trees in the spring.
Carolyn
You bring joy to every Monday, Sister!

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Jean Canatsey March 16, 2020 at 10:08 am

Dear Sr. Melannie,
I was struck by the picture of the sunflower. It certainly makes the title of your blog come alive!
When I was a little girl in Indiana, I loved making Hollyhock dolls and taking peonies to the cemetery on Memorial Day. As a Floridian, I love my Bougainville, my Don Juan rose, and the pungent odor of orange blossoms.
Thank you so much for the prayer. Sometimes I wonder if the Flower Maker allowed this current situation to happen so that the whole world could stop and “smell the roses”.

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Pam Gunn March 16, 2020 at 10:21 am

Thank you for the uplifting message, prayer, and music….I really needed this message this morning… I love flowers of all kinds… nothing makes my heart soar like spring and planting of the flowers and watching them bloom.Our backyard is like a park… we are blessed every spring with a miracle as God allows all of our perennials to come back to life after a long winter in Minnesota..Thank you for the wonderful prayer…and being a ray of sunshine every week…You are a wonderful way of starting out the day and week. God bless you.

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Pam Gunn March 16, 2020 at 10:31 am

Sister Melannie,
Would it be possible for you to send us your prayer separate from your blog?
I would like to print it out so that I can pray it daily and also share with others.
Thank you… if not I understand… I guess I am just lazy and don’t want to write it out.

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June March 16, 2020 at 11:53 am

Creator God, be with us during this world-wide health crisis. Help us to do what we have to do to curb the spread of this virus. Bless our health care professionals, our researchers, our community and government leaders. Bless those already infected with this illness. We pray too for those who have died and for their loved ones. Help us to embrace the personal hardships this pandemic may lay upon us. May we, as a world community, work together, putting aside all selfishness, feelings of superiority, and divisiveness. Keep always before us the great truth that this pandemic underscores: we are all part of One Earth Community no matter who we are or where we live. Amen.

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June March 16, 2020 at 11:54 am

Do you know how to cut and paste? Hope this helps

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Mary March 16, 2020 at 10:42 am

Thank you, Sister, for this beautiful bouquet!

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Jean Shott March 16, 2020 at 11:29 am

I love flowers! Your post is an important “distraction” from the darkness of the Coronavirus. As we “shelter in place” we can still appreciate the beauty of God’s world. Thanks for the “booster shot”!

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Patty S. March 16, 2020 at 1:34 pm

Thank you, Sister. I will follow your lead and post/share on FB and e-mail, too. Stay well.

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Sister Miriam Ann March 16, 2020 at 1:40 pm

My grandmother had Lillies of the Valley growing at her summer home when she was a child. My mother brought some of the same flowers to our house. Now my sister took some to hers and now her children have taken some. Four generations of Lillies of the Valley have been passed down; I think that is amazing and beautiful. Love all the flowers in the video.

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Michelle Goode March 16, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Loved this beautiful piece! I love all if these flowers and the photographs were exquiste! Thank you to my dear friend for sharing it with me!

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Tom March 16, 2020 at 2:53 pm

Dear Melannie,

As we approach this particular springtime and Easter Season with well warranted apprehension, it is comforting to know that the spring flowers will pay no attention to the source of our fears but will appear as always to delight us with their beauty and fragrances.

Thanks for juxtaposing these two realities for us.

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Mary Therese March 16, 2020 at 3:28 pm

A blog about flowers! Thank you. My grandmother brought me a six pack of pink petunias back in 1959 and I became a gardener on the spot. Last November I planted over 150 tulip, daffodils and crocus in our backyard here in southwest Michigan in defiance of winter. Little did I know what difficult times lay ahead. I can’t go to restaurants or other stores right now, but I can walk into my backyard and feel so at peace. It’s hard to declare that any one flower is a favorite for me, they all bring joy.

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Annie March 16, 2020 at 3:53 pm

Dear Sr. Melannie,
I am quite certain that the Flower Maker is delighted with you and your letter! Thank you! The song is beautiful also.

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Mary Frances March 16, 2020 at 5:24 pm

Love the name, The Flower Maker!
Thank you for nestling THIS Lent in an expansive field of flowers which also “pan” the earth.

Are you saving the goat kids for another week?

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Ann S March 17, 2020 at 10:46 am

THANK YOU, SR MELANNIE!
Your reminder of the Beauty in our world is so timely. The Flower Maker will continue to bless us and remind us that Beauty is everywhere—even in a time of crisis.
I love daisies—yellow and white.

May All Be Well.
Irish Blessings, Ann

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Chris Keil March 17, 2020 at 1:54 pm

I particularly like how you mentioned that sometimes our sacrifices choose us! It’s so true and I hadn’t thought about it that way. Isn’t true that we truly have so little control over our lives and ourselves? And it’s all about living life as it’s presented to us……..
Thank you, I love flowers and try to grow them with a modicum of success. Our spring flowers are already blooming and the daffodils have already started to brown and wither………..God Bless You.

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Linda Gray March 17, 2020 at 10:42 pm

One of my favourite poems is “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, or “The Daffodils”.
The last stanza reads:

“And oft when on my couch I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye,
Which is the bliss of solitude.
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”

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Georgia March 19, 2020 at 9:12 am

What a beautiful combination of reflection, prayer for all of us affected by the Coronavirus, the flowers, and the perfect song, lyrics and more gorgeous flower images!

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Terri March 19, 2020 at 9:20 am

Dear Sr. Melanie – thank you for a sweet reflection, for a reminder to be grateful, for the lovely photos and the poetic experience of pronouncing the names of beautiful flowers that don’t grow in my yard! Your reflection provided an intoxicating whiff of a memory of Memorial Day treks to three cemeteries with foil-wrapped, ant-laden peonies and my five siblings jockeying for the position of ‘best breeze’ in the station wagon. My husband has nostalgically recalled his dear mother’s love of hollyhock (a reminder of her childhood home) which she planted at the farm where he grew up. I hope to grow some on our sunny plot in the community garden this year. Many thanks!

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Christine March 19, 2020 at 3:27 pm

Good afternoon Sr. Melanie…I’m just now getting to send this. Your reflection really struck a chord with me. I grew up in upstate New York, and outside one of the house windows was a bed of lilies of the valley and a WHITE lilac tree! White, not the usual purple, or lilac, if you will. The fragrance of these two flowers mingled together and coming through the open window was heavenly! Lily of the valley is my favorite flower with lilac second. Sadly, lily of the valley has such a short growing season. Thank you for your thoughtful and inspiring reflections. May God continue to bless you and keep you safe and well.

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Kathy Burrows March 20, 2020 at 11:05 am

Thank you for this absolutely beautiful reflection.

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Michelle Goode April 1, 2020 at 3:23 pm

Lovely website, photos, and song! Enjoyed it all. A friend forwarded it to me and it is just perfect for what we are all dealing with right now in the season of Lent and Easter! Thank you!!!

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Ann Gillis LaLiberte April 5, 2020 at 7:37 pm

Thank you Dear Flower Maker for all of your creation and especially for the senses you gave us, for our eyes to see your myriad colors, for our senses of taste and smell so your flowers become parts of ourselves, for our ability to stroke with reverence the textures of your flowers and for our ears to hear your flowers sing to us. Thank you for giving us soul and spirit to know your Beauty is Truth.

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Sr Susan Reineck SND April 6, 2020 at 9:23 am

Today is a beautiful sunny day and the birds are singing to welcome this new day. Your reflection captured the joy of springtime! I recalled a song I used to teach the young children I taught. The opening words were, “Friends are like flowers, beautiful flowers, friends are like flowers in the garden of life.” With loving gratitude to the countless number of people who are risking their lives today and in the days to come, to help others who are ill or suffering in any way, I offer my prayers in union with all the prayers said on their behalf in this garden of life.

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