Gladioli make me happy. Like really happy, with sparkling eyes and a big smile.
Well, they are not fragrant. And I find other flowers prettier. But there's one thing gladioli do particularly well: They remind me of my birthday.
And I looooove birthdays - always have!
As a kid, I celebrated them in my grandparents' yard. It was the height of summer at the end of July.
Neighbors, friends, and relatives came to party together. The yard was bustling with frolicking children and chatty adults. Noise and laughter everywhere.
The wooden table on the roofed terrace was laden with goods: 'Confetti' salad; Caraway bread sticks. Also half-filled lemonade glasses and used plates with bits of hazelnut torte melting away in the scorching heat.
The mood was vibrant and colorful.
The haven of peace in all the hustle and bustle? GLADIOLI!
Not one. Not two or three. No, whole buckets full of them, as red and bright as life.
My parents "parked" them temporarily, leaning them against a terrace wall or the garage door. The tall flowers were as big as little me. In my memory, every single guest brought red gladioli. They must have been the hippest summer bloomer back then.
This is how gladioli came to be a symbol of my birthday. To this day, my family gifts me an armful of red gladioli for my birthday. Every year, I look forward to this ritual.
The other day, an idea struck me. Why not surround myself with gladiolas way ahead of my b-day? They could increase the joy of anticipating my special day.
As soon as gladioli bloomed in the nearby flower field, sometime in June, I started placing a single gladiolus in a vase next to my desk. Yellow, white, apricot, purple - each week, a different color. Any color except red is welcome; Red, however, is reserved for my very special day.
Every time I catch a glimpse of the gladiolus (which happens quite often in a day), I think of my birthday. And I smile.
Soon they will be red, the gladioli in my vase.
And there it is again, that exceptional smile - the one with the sparkling eyes.
Do you also have a little trick to make you think of your birthday? To get you even more excited to celebrate your b-day soon?
With planty of delights,
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