I've been scrolling through my gallery for the last month and it is photo after photo of flowers and blossom and more flowers. I could do an entire blog post of pictures of flowers (actually who am I kidding - tulips) and it would look like I'd spent the last month in a petal induced haven. But as we all know photographs don't always accurately capture our daily lives. We choose what to stop and photograph, we choose what to edit, we choose what to share and post. So I've been reflecting on just why I've taken quite so many photos of flowers and why its helped me find joy over the last month. This does of course mean that I still get to do a blog post full of photos of lovely flowers!
We all love a photo of flowers - in vases, in gardens, petals scattered on a table, people holding bunches of flowers and gorgeous flower shops. If you are stuck on what to put on Instagram, post some flowers, any flowers, and people are almost obliged to like it! I wrote last month about how part of the reason I had returned to blogging was to ensure that I had a place to be true and authentic to myself and to write what I wanted. So while I'm not about to post pictures of my dirty washing and toy strewn living room, a post full of pretty flowers without any context doesn't accurately capture my life recently.
The bottom line is cancer isn't very floral or photogenic. True, you get given lots of lovely gifts of flowers but you can't really pretty up the realities of cancer with some creatively strewn petals or greenery. A month ago after a really good stint on my first treatment I had a scan that wasn't as good. Everything stops. They act fast to change things. The old treatment that I'd gotten used to and worked out how to make fit around me was gone. There were Consultant appointments, discussions about next options, about funding, about blood results. It was a very unsettling and frightening time though luckily I still felt well throughout it.
And so in an effort to not drown in the vastness of it all I continued to embrace the ethos I've tried to adapt since last October. I turned it around. I sought out the things that made me smile, the things that made me laugh, the things that brought me joy. I went back to the simple things, to appreciating what was around me, to appreciating the beautiful and fun things that are there to be experienced every day. I slowed down. I opened my eyes. I rather embarrassingly discovered not one, but two blossom trees in my front garden that I hadn't noticed before!
And so I sought out flowers. I got sent them, I grew them, I bought them, I stopped to photograph them everywhere. I was also lucky enough that the past month was when all the tulips planted back in October in our new garden starting popping up. I'm still not quite sure about why I've been particularly drawn to flowers but every time I see some I can't help but smile. I think its partly due to their being inherently part of nature, part of something bigger than us. The fact that they follow a natural cycle also appeals; you plant them, they grow and then they ultimately do wither but while they are here they can bring so much joy, much like we all can too.
I've now started new weekly treatment and I'm doing fine. I'm determined to fit this into my life and to continue my approach of appreciating the simple things in life and turning each day around. And I'm most definitely still going to be seeking out flowers!