Bouquet of the Week: Breast Cancer Awareness Month
As part of our recurring Bouquet of the Week series, Garden Collage continues to present a weekly inspirational bouquet that incorporates intriguing new elements into the traditional practice of flower arranging. This week, Garden Collage styles a bouquet in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Each week one of our team members has the joyful task of curating GC’s Bouquet of the Week. October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and therefore I decided to share some of my thoughts about beauty, women, and health through the artful expression of flower arranging.
Women and flowers are symbols of life and reproduction. Suffering from breast cancer and even losing parts of the obvious and external femininity cannot be described in words. My intention with this bouquet was to give hope to those who are suffering and to encourage those who are not informed to take steps to detect the disease in its early stages.
Normally, this bouquet would have to be all pink with light hues, full of playful nuances that flatter and enhance the beauty of the blossoms, but I know that female power can only be pictured with contrasts. Femininity is a strong energy that sparks from within. It is light, it is heavy, it is warm, it is cold, it is fragile yet strong. Women as well as men who dare to explore their feminine sides are full of contrast and surprise. I chose black chenzo chili (Capsicum annuum) to represent the diversity of this powerful energy.
Several studies, including one from Journal of the National Cancer Institute caught my interest by stating that natural substances found in chili peppers (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide) can kill cancer cells by starving them of oxygen. Cancer is a terrifying prospect but one has the choice of embracing different solutions. This flower composition reminds us of the positivity of choice. Yes, black is alternative, but just like alternative remedies it should still be part of the conversation. All theories and thoughts should be explored. My mother is a specialized doctor and has treated many patients diagnosed with cancer. Even as a child I have observed different individuals when visiting her clinic, but one thing I understood early on was the healing power of nature, and the female body is part of this nature.
The message of this bouquet is to understand that we have a choice. We can define our own interpretation of femininity and our own beauty standards. Let this chili bouquet burn some poisonous thoughts of outdated beauty standards and shift the focus to self-love, care for one’s body, and the importance of healthy living. Circumstances give us the experience that leads us to wisdom, but it is up to us to decide whether or not we let these circumstances define us.
I also want to express my deep belief in the healing power of words and thoughts. Surround yourself with beauty and it will be within and around you. A stunning bouquet is a great start.
For more information on breast cancer prevention or about how to host your own fundraiser, visit The National Breast Cancer Foundation.