Tulips, and the memories they hold


Tulips represent the beginning of Spring for me. Yes, Jonquils and Purple Hyacinths all arrive before the Tulips, and I even saw Lilacs this year before the Tulips.

Tulips, however, are the queen of Spring, and Fayetteville has the most amazing Tulip displays. Of course, I haven’t been to Holland but based on where I have been where Tulips are a feature of Spring–Fayetteville wins hands down.

My friend Sharon Counts, who passed away in 2006, loved Tulips. I have a plate she gave me in the last weeks of her life with Tulips painted on a lovely yellow background. So maybe this love of Tulips goes deeper than just deciding that I prefer Tulips over other Spring flowers.

It’s funny how that happens, but logical. Your preferences gravitate to those things that have meaning in your life, that have an impact from a relationship or memorable moment. There are a lot of things in my selection of “favorites” that come from a personal experience like my friend’s love of Tulips. A special oil I used for over 10 years because my best friend created it; a shirt I wore till it went into the rag pile and then I brought out again because it represented a time in my life I loved.

At a writer’s group I go to every Monday afternoon, the topic of life’s memorabilia came up. The woman talking about this topic said people were too much into getting rid of things, making their home clutter free. She indicated this was not a good thing. She asked, “Without that collection from your life’s journey, how do you pass down your life’s history to your family?”

I’m a clutter free kind of person; I clear out “stuff” on a regular basis. Sometimes I go looking for something I need only to realize I threw it out or gave it away because I hadn’t used in in six months. But can you really keep everything forever?

I guess if you had a home you lived in all your life and never planned to move, and had lots of storage space and a family that didn’t mind dealing with it after you were gone, why not? But if you are like me and move often and like clutter free, you will indeed continue to clear out your life. I do confess that I have one large plastic container filled with those things you collect through life from kid’s drawings to special cards. And a box of files that hold information I don’t really need for any practical purpose but feel might be good to keep.

But those things you carry in your head and your heart, like Tulips in the Spring that bring your departed friend back into mind, can be kept easily. When the Tulips started popping up and glowing in the morning light, I remembered my friend and as they begin to fade from the landscape I am reminded once again of that loss.

So till next Spring, Miss Sharon, I love you so much, and miss you a lot. Tulips, the memory keeper that does not require a storage space!

AND, if you really want to clear out your living and work spaces and make them work for you, check out Simple Spaces, www.simplespaces.us. They will get you shipshape. Laura and Jenna gave a presentation at the Fayetteville Library and after taking their quiz realized I am indeed “Clutter Free!”

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