Spring: Springing Forth the Splendor of Flowers
Text and photos by: Vics Magsaysay
Echoing the words of a 13th Century Persian poet, Elbert Hubbard asserts, “If I had but two loaves of bread I would sell one of them and buy white hyacinths
to feed my soul.”
If that’s the case what really makes flowers – and spring – so much valued in our existence?
Well, it is true that such is the allure of flowers to one’s life; thus, artists, poets, mystics and philosophers are one in what Ralph Waldo Emerson has to state: “Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.” Why not? A moment like that in the presence of flowers – or nature – undeniably touches our inner chord, lifts our spirit and gives us that much-needed dose of natural high. It is also a way to give us that essential wiggle room to move aside all our fears, frustrations, regrets and other negative thoughts that exact a terrible toll in our psyche.
This spring, the Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) and “Pamana ng Lahi” will be exalting this magnificent creation of God through a floral art exhibit entitled “A New Beginning: Art of Spring.”
Eight accomplished artists – Julia Kim, Rodolfo Samonte, Bernadette Manahan Sta. Maria, Bienvenido ‘Boi’ Sibug, Luz Balbin-Spanks, Magoo Valencia, Rey Zipagan and yours truly – will interpret their individual artistic perspective on these iconic beauties. Opening is at 7:00 p.m., April 13, at the Filipino Cultural Center, 1740 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026.
Have a wonderful moment with flowers!
Closing is on June 8. Mon Concepcion and Genise Sarino are to showcase their musical talent. Sponsors are: Vina Lelim Nacionales, Dr. Erlinda Dy Grey, Dr. Dexter ‘Maestro’ Grey, the Furing Family, LA Brilliant Lions Club, United Bicolandia, Bernie Quiambao, Winona Lagmay, Temple Westlake Neighborhood Dev. Corp., and Fiesta Fastfood. Emcee: Lydia V. Solis.
Luther Burbank, a plant lover, also reflects the same feeling in this quote: “Flowers always make people better, happier and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”
It is also no wonder spring is the most-celebrated season of the year. It’s a season of renewal, of rejoicing when many hibernating plants start to bloom and display such ineffable splendor after months of hibernation.
When spring comes, I feel excited. Why? As an artist and nature photographer it’s a wake-up call. As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to be an artist to imbibe the resplendent charm that nature shows. The flowers in the backyard, the transformation of the Japanese cherry trees being blanketed by white and pinkish flowers as well as many other plant varieties blossoming – they simply overwhelm my senses with immense delight. It’s also the time for me to go outdoors and visit my favorite botanical gardens to feast my eyes on them. Add to that, freezing the joyous moment with my DSLR or iPhone.
Amen to poet Pablo Neruda who conveys to us his words, “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.”
Being at the moment gazing at a flower – especially this spring – is a cheap and simple reward that money can’t buy. Just watching this work of our Creator is testament that we are now here, existing and living, and surely acknowledging the beauty of life.
I remember watching Netflix’s “Story of God.” Theoretical physicist Art Leween ushered the host, Morgan Freeman, not to a science lab but to, in all places, a botanical garden in proving the existence of God. While holding a big leaf he says, “Nature’s beauty points us toward God. There’s this sense of awe and wonder, and something beyond ourselves.” He also adds, “The more we learn, the more we get closer to God.”
Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, achievements, proposing to a beloved, visiting someone in the hospital, or even mourning for those who have left this world, flowers have been such a ubiquitous offering all throughout the year.
But one thing for sure, flowers and spring give us hope. It’s no wonder why in tragic moments all around the globe it has become a common practice to lay a flower or a bouquet to express sentiments to those who perished. Yes, instead of rage a pervading sense of optimism and comfort fills the hearts of those who offer these blooms – such a big reward for a small gesture.
Feasting our eyes or meditating on flowers must have some sort of butterfly effect on our future. When we “dine” on beauty, the effect definitely goes down to our system, to our psyche, and would one day reflect on our physical health. Mind and body are one.
Vics Magsaysay, Ph.D., is a Los Angeles-based writer, fine art nature photographer, painter, graphic designer, alternative healer and holds a doctorate degree in clinical hypnotherapy.