In the Victorian language of flowers, dahlias symbolize dignity, elegance, and a bond that lasts forever.

My daughter took me on her favorite route last Saturday, past many gardens full of dahlias.   Usually she jogs, but I have to walk.  It was hot, I should have brought water.  I listened to her chat about work, her friends, the life she’s made for herself in Seattle, her current challenges and hopes for the future. She wisely characterized this period of her life as one in which she is forming herself as an adult in the world and establishing a new way of relating to us, her parents.

I remember thinking the same thing when I was in my twenties.  I spent a lot of time figuring out how to be true to myself, acknowledge the support my parents had given me growing up and yet separate myself from them.  I was trying to relate to my parents as an adult, be a sibling without being a child, and create a community of my own.

I huffed and puffed and paused a lot on the stairway she took me up, wishing again for a bottle of water, chugging on because I knew there would be a view at the top.

There was a view, but instead of the bay and city before me, I snapped a picture of  my daughter, a strong and vibrant woman living her twenties soundly.

Though the dahlias are fading now in September, they are a colorful reminder of us, two women who have dignity, elegance and a bond that will last forever.


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6 responses to “dahlias

  • Deb Day

    This is such a nice piece. I loved how you told the story. It made me smile the whole way through. And isn’t wonderful when our children grow into adults we are proud to know!

  • JenniferM

    Such a loving post! It’s so nice to hear how much you love your daughter and are proud of her. The fact that your “picturesque view” was your daughter and not the scenery was so moving!

  • Christy Rush-Levine

    The dahlias are a powerful metaphoric thread in this slice- both visually and through your story. You made your daughter sound like someone I would like to know. Your pride in her is clear!

  • Nora

    Your slice was beautiful! I love how you started and ended your post with the reference to dahlias.

  • Linda Baie

    Dahlias are so lovely, and I liked that you connected their meaning to your relationship between you & your daughter. I love being with my daughter, and now with her children, too. What a gift we are given, to forge that new kind of relationship with our children. Thanks for a beautiful peek into your life.

  • diana1litcoach

    Your piece pretty much choked me up. I hope to have this kind of relationship with my daughter. I think we’ll get there. I just need to be patient. Your slice feels so satisfying to read, perfectly tied up in the end. The pictures accompanying your piece add a wonderful touch.

thank you for reading, comment or email to wakeupandwrite@gmail.com

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