Last Friday was the fifth anniversary of my Dad's passing. He has been on my mind. In fact, not a day goes by when I don't think of him. Of my many passions, two are directly attributable to his influence: my love for gardening and for reading. He told me often how, as a child, his father would rouse on him for 'always having his head stuck in a book'.
As a child, two of his favourite books were 'The Good Master' by Kate Seredy and 'Reach for the Sky' by Paul Brickhill. They in turn became favourites of mine, and now my children read them.
I have just finished reading a book called 'The Language of Flowers', a debut novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. I enjoyed it enormously. It is the story of a young woman, tormented by memories of a childhood of mistreatment at the hands of a succession of foster parents. Psychologically scarred, her preferred way to communicate with others is through flowers and their Victorian meanings. Her journey is to learn to trust the love of others.
This book is warmly written, and an easy, uncomplicated read. As a gardener, I loved the powerful role flowers played in the narrative. For me, the story's appeal is in the concept that flowers might comfort psychological distress and nurture hope.
And so my two inherited passions, gardening and reading, came together with this book, read in February 2012, as I thought of my Dad.