C-33. I am An Iris
Yu Wen went on, “As life would have it, both my mother and her sister-in-law gave birth to a girl. Sadly, my cousin, the peony, died before she was 3 years old. I, the iris, continued growing!”
Yu Wen recalled her worst childhood sickness was the measles, free from any serious illness. She told the artist, “I’m so very grateful and fortunate that my mother chose the Iris!”
World War II and the following political change in China each contributed to the total loss of contact with Yu Wen’s mother. There was no way to find her. She also lived with an added sorrow from never having a picture of her dear mother.
Yu Wen began thinking…, if I can crochet some irises as a loving memento to my mother…? She called upon her memories of the irises of her youth and began creating the crocheted Iris Bonsai Tribute.
In 1967, at the very first Everlasting Blossom Exhibition in Tai-Chung, Taiwan, I heard my mother, Yu Wen telling the following story to an artist in the showroom:
Yu Wen said, “I remember when I was a little girl, my mother always said that I was an iris.
In my hometown of Pei-king, there were lots of irises growing on both sides of the path in our garden. They were very easy to take care for and they blossomed every year. Nonetheless, they were not as beautiful as roses, peonies, or any other flowers!”
Yu Wen went on explaining to the artist, “The night before I was born, my mother dreamt that her mother came to see her with two flowers in her hands. A peony and an iris. She told my mother to choose one of them. My mother thought the peony was beautiful, but also knew it’s very difficult to care for. The iris, once planted it into the soil, will grow and blossom every year. No special care needed. My mother told her mother she decided to choose the iris. Her mother smiled and said, all right! I’ll give the peony to your sister-in-law.”
–To be continued —