Where Have All the Flowers Gone

sunflower

The NYTimes carried this sad article about the disappearance of many flower species. Given the intimate linguistic connection between flowers and flourishing, I experienced a deep sense of sadness as I read the story. Here’s the opening paragraph.

Ours is one of the most colorful relationships of history: We need flowers for our very survival, and in turn flowers — the plants that exist as crop cultivars or horticultural cut flowers or potted beauties — rely on us to reproduce and spread. But all is not well in this storied partnership: We who behold or nurture flowers are condemning their wild relatives to extinction at an alarming rate, and the world is quickly becoming a lesser place without them.

The article also brought to mind a folk song by Peter Seeger that also makes me very sad. This is just the first verse. It gets even more poignant as it goes.

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

You can listen to Seeger doing the whole song here.

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