It’s simple. These lovely little blooms speak to me, of resilience and strength, of tradition, of love. The crocus is a tiny purple bloom that grows in the prairies, usually found in a cow pasture. It’s worth the hunt through the cow patties to find them, for as the years go by, the flowers seem harder to find. Wild prairie crocuses appear swiftly, bloom and fade, not to appear until the following spring. They have a very special meaning to me as a farm kid from the Canadian prairies and I’ve hunted for them since I could walk. Now I photograph them, spending hours working to get exactly the perfect image. They appear so quickly and go just as fast; it’s like a game for me, making sure that I, with my busy schedule, can get to the farm to see them before they fade.
Although I’ve loved crocuses since I was a child, they took on a whole new meaning to me several years ago. It was 1998. I was a young mother, sad, struggling, depressed and emotionally depleted. As I tucked my young son into bed there was a soft knock at the door. Standing there were my parents and in my Dad’s hand, a bouquet of my beloved crocuses. He never said a word, didn’t reach out for me, just smiled and walked into the house as Mom folded me into her arms. I was overwhelmed by his gesture. My Dad, who is a strong, silent type brought me flowers, and not just any flowers, but those that mean the most to me. I found a little vase, placed my little blooms in it, and treasured it. Twenty years later, I still have that original bouquet, it’s in a special container in my bedroom. Every now and then I take it out, think of my Dad, and smile.
Every single year since 1998, my Dad and Mom have picked me, my sister, my grandmother and my daughters a prairie bouquet. One day this past spring, I made an impromptu visit to the farm to photograph my crocuses. Mom and Dad were busy working on the farm, but I managed to pursuade them to break and come out to visit the flowers with me. My flower photo session turned into something far more precious to me. I created images of my parents in the midst of what they do every spring for me, create the perfect bouquet of flowers. This lifestyle photography session is one that has a significant emotional impact on me.
It’s a story (which is why I love lifestyle sessions! Here, I’m telling part of my family’s story). Mom and Dad had been working hard all day on the farm and it shows; and I love it. My Dad is such a strong, silent type, but yet, here he is, in the pasture, on his hands and knees, picking crocuses. If that doesn’t tell a story about who he is, behind that tough guy facade, I don’t know what does.
Since that day back in 1998, these flowers went from simply being a symbol of my family’s love of the land to something more. For me, they symbolize love; that of my parents for me. They symbolize tradition, (my bouquet every year). They symbolize strength and reslience, both literally and figuratively . That long ago bouquet from my Dad was his unspoken way of telling me that, even though I was sad, and felt my world had crashed down around me, there was joy and beauty to be found. I only had to be strong enough and grateful enough to reach out for it.
As tradition warrants, that day we delivered a bouquet to my Grandma Rose, as Dad always picks a special bouquet for his Mom. I loved that my daughter delivered the bouquet to her great grandmother. It spoke to me of continuity, tradition, and a reminder to Grandma of the land she loved and lived on for so many years.
Dad is having health issues. I’m afraid, I’m sure he is too, although he assures me that he is feeling great and is “just fine”. That’s the thing about my Dad, he has strength, faith and resilience, just like the prairie crocus.