Every year my sisters and I, along with a few friends, have a wreath competition. We either do it for the Spring, Fall or Christmas. We post our pictures on Facebook along with a brief description and explanation. We then allow one of our friends to anonymously judge the wreaths. The prizes have ranged from a cup of Starbucks coffee to $50 cash, but the biggest prize and the most valuable prize is always the bragging rights!
I hardly ever win! I think my wreaths are great… in fact, I KNOW they are great! But I have to admit that maybe I try too hard to make them “perfect”. Not to mention, I think God gave my sisters an extra little touch in the area of decorating and designing!
One year I was so fed up with my perfect wreaths not winning, that I just didn’t care! I wanted to make a wreath that represented ME and that I liked! No one else had to like it! Kiss my pa-tootie, this wreath was for ME! It was fall and I was tired of it ALL! (It can get ruthless in our loving little family competitions!)
Bottom line was that I decided to put my heart into my wreath, instead of my mind… and I finally won!
Here is the story:
I first admired the cotton blossom when I visited the First Confederate White House in Montgomery, Alabama. (I am a history buff). Mixed emotions dwellt in me as I was captivated with the simplicity and beauty of the delicate bouquet that centered the dining table. How can I dare to love this plant in its purest form? Yet I did. Immediately and completely!
Ever since that day, the cotton blossom seemed to stand out to me. I saw it everywhere! The sentiment of the flower tugged at for weeks leading up my decision for a fall wreath. Funny how I had lived in the south all of my life and I never noticed it –really – until that visit.
When I went to Hobby Lobby for wreath supplies, I walked passed the flower a few times, allowing only my eyes to gaze briefly. I never turned my head towards it. Quite honestly, I couldn’t bare to stop and look at it face to face. Did I love it? Did I hate it? I felt silly. I mean, did the people in the store care if I was looking at the COTTON BLOSSOM!? The 3rd time I walked by the flower, just like the first 2 times, I didn’t even slow down, I grabbed a couple of stalks and kept walking. Quickly!
I finally stopped 2 aisles away and picked up a stem out of my basket to look at it closely. My heart melted….. but…. I couldn’t… could I ?? I whispered a plea to God “Why am I struggling to accept that I love this plant?” In that moment, I decided to start over by choosing a color instead of a flower first. (I was on the ribbon aisle). That’s when I saw the ribbon! I fell just as hard for the ribbon as I did for the cotton blossom months ago in the First Confederate White House.
A burden lifted when I realized “I am one because of the other.”
This wreath represents my liberation from an inner struggle that I didn’t know existed until I fell in love with a blossom I never knew offended me. And because I now understand this, I am no longer offended.
When you give someone a sunflower it means that you have great admiration for them. I have intentionally placed 2 sunflowers on my wreath representing adoration and appreciation of my heritage. I am one because of the other.
The burlap represents strength and character.
The Kente inspired ribbon represents my colorful and bountiful heritage. The bow is placed on the side of the cotton in remembrance of the strength of my ancestors that toiled and labored under the rule of this beautiful blossom. It’s remnants reach over to the other side to represent the connection I have with my heritage.
This year, I have “harvested my heritage”.
“I come as one. I stand as 10,000.” – Maya Angelou.
Little POW-wow (Pearls of Wisdom)
- I was never told to like or dislike the cotton blossom. It represents different things to different people. It is beautiful to me and admitting that lifted a burden I never knew was there. Is there something in your life that you feel you are not allowed to embrace? Give it to God and leave it there. He will show you what to do with it.
-Traci D. Fuller, Pearls and Pretty Pens
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