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Zorba, the Greek character from that Nikos Kazantzakis’ novel, used to say that “the shape  influences the color a flower takes; the color affects the characteristics of a flower. As a result, each flower has a distinct power over the body and the soul of a man”.

Others say that a flower is the smile of the Earth, but to me a flower is much more than a mere smile. A flower encapsulates the essence of life: life is born,it grows, it gives us its fruit, it results in decadence and death, and all those delicate stages of life are already condensed in a simple flower, just like the first wild red poppy of Spring. The circle of life. A present from Nature that we, ourselves, use as a gift to celebrate new life, love, friendship, even when we bid an eternal farewell to those that are no more. A flower is always a gift.

They are the purest most beautiful symbol there is, its colors bring us joy and that may very well be the reason why flowers have dressed the richest palaces throughout History. Blue Egyptian lotus, Baroque roses and liliums have been always at the table of the powerful and the rich. Perhaps human found in them a way to escape the memory of Winter. Flowers are, in a way, one of the beginnings of beauty and Art itself.

Tiles, tapestries, clothes, paintings, sculptures… they are all crowed with flowers; they are the most employed ornament in all cultures around the World, from the tiniest island in the Pacific to the Great Chinese Empire. We have also built language and meaning from flowers, hence, a red rose means love and passion; a crysanths means wisdom; a dahlia carries gratitude; a sunflower gives us strength; a geranium joy… and it goes on and on.

Van Gogh, Monet, O’Keeffe, Warhol, Murakami… artists too have found in these divine creations a true source of inspiration, a symbol of beauty in all its forms.

But what about poor people, common people? Well, they too admire and participate from the beauty of a flower, they too want to surround themselves with them, feel alive among their colors and fragrances. A bit of soil, a bit of water, a small humble seed and there the miracle arises. It is not an artistic representation nor a meaning but a genuine miracle: a flower with real color, real fragrance, real life.

It is this same seed, nourished by this same water and this same soil inside a simple pot that grows into a full flower and garnishes the intimacy of a Córdoba Patio. A miracle that comes every Spring to turn the humble patios of the common people into the richest palaces in the World. A Patio, just like a flower, perhaps because it is, in a way, a flower too, summons the essence of life: life is born, it grows, it gives us its fruit, it results in decadence and death, and we should all celebrate and praise it. Our Patios symbolize the universal effort that life puts to shape beauty. The eternal the ephemeral, a ying and a yang, all encapsulated in the brief size of a flower.


 

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