Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lili, not Lily

Earlier in the Spring I was asked to become a mentor to a student at the Winsor School in Boston who wanted to do her senior project on flowers and their presence in and relevance to literature.  

(Why didn't I think of this when I was suffering through French Literary Theory in Graduate School)?

So I said yes and Lili came into our lives from the first of May until last week.  

Several times a week she worked with us from 10:30 until 2:00 while she juggled us with other activities.  She worked Mother's Day weekend, she swept, cleaned, organized and then we spent time talking about flowers and designing arrangements.  While she made her first arrangement, Marisa, Lizzie and I occasionally looked at each other in amazement.  She clearly had a gift.  Apparently she had been 'studying' flower arranging at home before she started with us.

Lili ate up everything I told her about flowers and what she learned from Lizzie and Marisa. 

I challenged her with different and difficult containers, taught her about the subtle use of the Hogarth Curve (which she studied at home) and loaned her my favorite books.

Part of her project was choosing a few literary passages to present with a record of her time at Bow Street Flowers.  She settled on a most beautiful section of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Emily Dickinson's poem number 620.

I had the pleasure of attending the presentation at the Winsor School last Thursday night.  Lili and all the senior girls set up their tables and their projects in the Cafeteria.  I was very proud.

This is her Virginia Woolf arrangement.

Emily Dickinson


And even though she was finished with her project, she came with us to Ipswich the day after to help us set up a wedding.  As always she was a valuable member of the team.

Lili, we send our congratulations for your graduation this week.  Whatever you choose to do in your life, I know you'll rock it!  xoxo 


Jen said...

I love everything about this post. First, what a wonderful idea for a project--flowers and literature, two of my favorite things. And Lili's arrangements are beautiful. I can really feel the personalities of Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf in those arrangements.

Shelley, she was lucky to have you for a mentor.

Alicia said...

She is a tallented girl. Beautiful arrangements!

flwrjane said...

What a win,win situation for both of you. Well the whole shop really. She was truly lucky to find all of you, it's not easy to find the time to do your own work plus mentor another.

Her arrangements are lovely. Clearly she listened as well as you all spoke.

Xo j

rachel said...

What a lovely tribute and well-deserved!