My grandmother lived to be 90 years old. On her last birthday, she wore a wreath of flowers that my mother had made. It had roses in it and my mother spoke about the roses. There were rose buds, representing the young girl. There were roses in full bloom, representing the woman in the hectic phase of life, with family and work. And there were rosehips. The rosehip was my grandmother on her 90th birthday, at the end of her life: old and ripe, the fruit of the bud and the blooming rose.
I found it so beautiful and I asked my mother if I could keep the wreath afterwards, as a memory. Yes, that was fine, and she stored it for me in a chocolate box, for me to bring with me sometime when we would come and visit by car.
Some years went by, we both forgot about it, and when I once finally asked my mother, she could not find the chocolate box anymore. Perhaps she had by mistake thrown it away. That was fine, too. The memory of my grandmother with the rosebuds, the blooming rose and the rosehips was engraved in my memory forever, and I did not actually need the dried flowers anymore.
When we visited my parents this summer, my mother had found the chocolate box! It was bigger than I remembered, and I was surprised how colourful the flowers still were. I actually did not open the box directly, but waited until we were back home and I had a quiet moment.
So, what did it mean to actually see the wreath again, and to now have it? As I said, I have this episode engraved in my memory and don’t need anything material to keep it alive. Having the dried flower wreath means that I can share some images with you, together with this story. But will I now keep these dried flowers for the rest of my life? I do not know, I can not say.
The funny thing is that in recent years, I have been pulled towards making rose-like shapes with metal, basically simple spirals, like in this ring (silver and brass) and in the simple copper earrings (still work in progress).
If you ever saw a celebration of midsummer in Sweden, you will also have seen some people wearing a wreath of flowers, mostly women and children. It’s the most summery outfit you can imagine to celebrate mother nature. Simply google the word “midsommarkrans”, and see what images you get.
Is a flower wreath a piece of jewellery? I think we can stretch the definition and count it to that category, yes. What do you think? A fresh and colourful adornment that lasts only for a few hours. Unless you dry it and store it well in a chocolate box, then it may last for many years.