The air is crisp now, and cold, and the flowers are all flame-colored. These are chrysanthemum days. They burn against the cold. They wait for winter.
They bloom among leaves like stretched hands, peach-fuzzy. They grow on stems whose innards are dry and spongy. They are gold and ruby and topaz.
Here on our dresser, they are amethyst. Here they are concise, precise, with pale centers glowing like the cool sunlight of today. Here they face ceilingward, skyward, heavenward, looking up from the ends of their long, long stems. I tied them with a silver satin ribbon, one of many that wrapped around gifts to us from our friends. The glass vase is from our wedding, too.
Three wedding things in one simple arrangement of hope: symbols of ceremony, communal blessing, a celebration that continues, punctuating the passage of months. Frost is on its way, but flowers are still opening.