Recently I have been ruminating on my upcoming month long trip to Paris this summer. I become giddy just thinking about being once more in the midst of this city, surrounded by the colorful blend of beauty, history, and passion that is uniquely Paris. I find myself going through photos from my year there over and over, looking forward to revisiting my favorite spots. I was doing this recently on a flight to Arizona and I stumbled across this picture. For some reason I didn’t really notice it much before, but I have fallen in love with it afresh. I love Paris flower shops. Contrary to many American flower shops that just cram lots of flowers and tacky cards into a space, the flower shops of Paris are in and of themselves things of beauty, museums of ephemeral perfection.
I took this picture once on a wander through one of the more chic neighborhoods. They had a snooty sign on the door asking that only customers intending to buy enter, so I snatched a quick shot from outside, with the opposite street obscuring a clear shot of most of the flowers. Recently I noticed the tagline under the shops name “le Magicien de l’Éphémère” – the Magician of the Ephemeral. This is indeed the job of every florist, the purpose of every flower: to exist for one perfect moment in beauty. And isn’t their temporality that the very thing we cherish about flowers? Were they to last forever, they would not be worthwhile; we would not stop to appreciate them because we could always put it off to a more convenient time. Flowers, all of nature in fact, bid us pause and savor the joy that is passing.