All over Bali, we saw canag sari, little hand made baskets of freshly picked flowers, sometimes with a few noodles or other food. These little offerings are put out early in the morning in temples, on statues, at door steps and the floor of store entrances. This Hindu ritual goes back a thousand years at least, and there are many flower stalls in the early morning markets that sell the component parts or ready made baskets of flowers.
What does it mean? Some people say it's a daily reminder of the impermanence of life; at the end of the day, the flowers have withered, the contents often scattered by the scuffing of foot traffic, and the little baskets are swept away to make room for fresh blooms the next morning:
Some people say the little baskets are meant as a gift to the gods as a prayer for a good day. I like to think of the flower offerings as a way to acknowledge, with gratitude, the gift of this particular day.
When I got home, I imitated the daily ritual for a while, cutting flowers from my garden. Then my friend Debbi gave we a ceramic vase that was perfect for holding a small bouquet of flowers so all summer I've been wandering out in the garden when I get up, cutting a few flowers that I then display in the ceramic vase:
My flowers last for a few days because they're in water. I feel grateful, as I gather the flowers, for this garden, this home and the pleasure both bring me. I'm grateful for one more day of healthy living, and I'm reminded of the beauty all around me in the natural world.