Gladioli make me happy. I mean really happy, with sparkling eyes and a big smile.
Sure, they may not be the most fragrant flowers, and there are others I find prettier. But there's one thing gladioli do exceptionally well: They remind me of my birthday, and oh, how I love birthdays — always have! The birthday anticipation fills me with excitement days (honestly, weeks) in advance.
As a child, I celebrated birthdays in my grandparents' yard during the peak of summer at the end of July. It was a time of pure joy, with neighbors, friends, and relatives all gathering to celebrate. The yard was alive with the laughter of frolicking children and the chatter of adults.
The wooden table on the roofed terrace was laden with various treats: confetti salad, caraway bread sticks, and half-filled lemonade glasses. Used plates sat with remnants of hazelnut torte or strawberry cake that melted away in the scorching heat.
The atmosphere was vibrant. Colorful. Noisy.
And amidst all the hustle and bustle, the haven of peace? GLADIOLI! Buckets full of them, as red and bright as life itself. Tall and majestic, some even as tall as mini-me. Everyone brought red gladioli. Every. Single. Guest. Gladioli must have been the hippest summer bloomers back then.
Since then, gladioli have become a symbol of my birthday, and to this day, my family gifts me armfuls of red gladioli on my special day. It's a cherished ritual I eagerly look forward to every year.
Recently, an idea struck me: Why not surround myself with gladioli long before my birthday? They could add to the joy of anticipating my special day (and birthday anticipation is half the fun of b-days, right?). So, as soon as gladioli bloomed in the nearby flower field, sometime in June, I began placing a single gladiolus (or is it 'gladiola'?) in a vase next to my desk. Each week a different color — yellow, white, apricot, purple. Any color except red — red is reserved for my very special day.
Every time I catch a glimpse of the gladiolus (which happens quite often in a day), I can't help but think of my birthday and break into a smile. Soon enough, the gladioli in my vase will be red. And once again, that exceptional smile with sparkling eyes will light up my face.
Do you have any little tricks to remind yourself of your birthday and make the anticipation even more exciting? Share your joyful moments with me!
With planty of delights,