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A City of Scarlet Flowers  by annmarwalk

Faramir couldn’t remember when he first noticed them. Even before all the rubble was cleared or shops rebuilt, they began to appear: great tubs of scarlet poppies at each street corner; clay pots of crimson anemonies on windowsills; huge hanging baskets of ruby nasturtiums flanking doorways.

There had always been sweetly-scented gardens, courtyards full of purple iris or golden jessamine, sunlit corners overflowing with pungent herbs and greenery. In a city of white stone, all growing things were treasured. But now, it seemed, there were red flowers everywhere he looked. Why?

“It was Luinil, my lord, set that pot of red dianthus where her brother Taeron was killed,” a shopkeeper of the fourth circle told him. “Said it would help us remember him, not that we needed help, poor boy, but then her Da got to talkin’ about it one night at 'The Laughing Oliphaunt', and there you go. Word spreads fast in the city. Just a way of rememberin’ without getting gloomy and all. Something poor folks can do as well as the mighty, beggin’ your pardon. Pretty, aren’t they? Lively.”

Lively: full of life, vigor, spirit. Yes. Scarlet flowers for remembrance, in celebration of love and renewal.

Many thanks to Branwyn for her encouragement and support, and gentle insistence on heritage flowers!



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