Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

The giant grey, steel door swung away on silent hinges and I experienced a rush of cold, perfumed air as I pushed aside floor to ceiling plastic slats. I felt like Alice, immediately surrounded by a wonderland of blossoms, blooms, and flower stalks taller than my head. The giant gallery flooded my senses with a profusion of colors arranged like an artist’s pallet, warm to cool colors, primary reds, yellows, oranges faded into greens and blues. The smells, oh my, were fragrances borrowed by Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Lancôme, Dolce of Paris which swirled around my head as I walked full into the Monet landscape.
I had entered the domain of wholesale florist Mark Jackson at Cut Flower Wholesale, Inc. in Atlanta. What an immense pleasure offered me by my friend Sheridan Bratcher, independent designer for weddings and events. I truly felt overwhelmed and, yes, honored to have been given a peek into this beautiful world. I later learned that the English word (Latin “per fume,”) means “through smoke.”
After the initial pleasures of the immense Cooler, I enjoyed a conversation with a young “intern” who had been an event planner at The Ritz in Chicago. Makenzie obviously loves what she is now doing; I could tell by her excited, lilting voice as she talked to what I assumed were fortunate customers. The receptionist, Naomi, came to the company through a Craig’s List ad, without realizing that, as she confided to me, she has “had a lifelong love affair with flowers!”
How wonderful to get up in the morning, sing in the shower, whistle happily while you make your lunch, and smile as you enter your workplace where you are assaulted by Nature’s most glorious gifts to us. I may be overstating the joy with which I envision these workers going about their day, but to do something you love amidst such natural beauty and smells that don’t come from a candle or spray can, sounds like a dream come true!
I loved the majority of the days, months, years that I spent in the English classroom. Maybe I didn’t whistle while I fixed my PB&J, but I did sing such favorites as “New York, New York” and “I Got the Sun in the Morning” in the shower each day. Yet, for years I harbored a dream. A dream I did not ever verbalize until that afternoon driving home from Midtown Atlanta and talking about how much those folks seem to love what they are doing. Then, just two days later, having tea on the back porch and talking with another friend about the possibility of a burgeoning Book Club, I spoke of it again.
I dream of reading books on tape, of being the voice which brings some of my favorite authors alive for people driving down the highway, tired of listening to Madonna or Willie Nelson. I have envisioned an older gentleman, leaning in to his tape player, turning the little plastic knob to the right, making sure the volume is all the way up. My listener, living alone now and craving company, doesn’t want to miss a single syllable of my soft, melodious Southern voice. The stories I will share will be full of all the things that made life “back in the day” so pleasant. They will be funny, too. I want my audience to chuckle, but some will be sad. The folks listening will perhaps wipe a tear away every now and then when the author I have chosen hits a melancholy chord and my retelling reminds us all of our childhood, of our first kiss, or of someone we have loved and lost.
This has been a secret dream of mine for years. I have tried to find out how to go about getting someone to hire me for a recording job, but, no luck, and I’m getting older; my eyesight is dimming, I have just about given up on ever living that dream. Until this afternoon as I sat on the back porch with a friend enjoying cardamom tea and scones. “Why don’t you just create a YouTube Channel and read the books you have always wanted to share?” Laura questioned. “You could reach people all over America.”
Why indeed! Great idea. Except that I didn’t have a clue as to how to go about what she described as “the simplest thing in the world.” My friend, who is much more technologically savvy than I, was incredibly helpful in walking me through the method that may make it possible to begin sharing Celestine Sibley’s Christmas stories, just right for the season approaching. Or some of Bailey White’s colorful tales, many part of her earlier memoirs that never reached the ears of NPR listeners.
I think I am going to try this! I am going to make this dream come true. I’ll get back to you later…after I’ve maneuvered my way around the Internet and conquered that demon. But, just think. We CAN make things happen for ourselves. We must never listen to the voice that says that we are too young, too old, too inexperienced, or too dumb. “Don’t be silly,” was a refrain I was used to hearing years ago when I wanted to explore alternatives. “That will never work.” Ever heard that one? “Come on, you’re kidding, right?”
Thinking back over the week, there is first hand evidence of dreams happening all around us. Tuesday night I spent the most magical time, seated in a covered canvas swing at the edge of a clear, rushing stream. My friend Sheridan and her husband James have realized the dream of a weekend “cottage” in Cleveland, Georgia, and she shared their good fortune with me. Don’t know anything more revitalizing, or stirring, than the sound of rushing water, a soft sunset, and a chill in the air, or the smoky smell of a crackling fire built with our own hands. Dream On.