the power of the bittersweet

three lemons on white surface
Photo by Dominika Roseclay on

The sour taste that burns that tongue, screwing eyes

And making faces out of something beautiful,

But sugar like the fairy dust that sweetens all

The evil in the world; it softens us

And eases pain we thought would burn us to the core.

We wish that every day was filled with rose

And dusty light that turns the world so heavenly.

But smooth can’t come without the rough

And we need pain to build a human core.

I was having a flick through Twitter this afternoon and somebody asked for stories of the bittersweet variety. And the stories that followed were so lovely and heart wrenching that I spent a fair bit of time reading them and considering the power of the bittersweet in my own life.

I think that we all love those stories because we know that the fairytale can’t really exist. The idea of the princess getting her prince and riding off into the sunset is just too unrealistic for us as complex human beings.

There were a lot of stories about death which I found interesting because it seemed that a lot of people could find something really positive come out of something that is obviously devastating. One that really made my heart break was about a woman who’s dad died a week before Christmas. He used to send her kids gift boxes and obviously that wasn’t going to happen. Then she flew home for the holidays and found a big box of her favourite childhood gifts that he hadn’t managed to post before he died.

I also enjoyed reading about the people who had their dreams come true only to realise that it wasn’t the answer to their anxieties that had plagued them their whole life.

In my own life I have seen the power of the bittersweet with my mum. I miss her loads since she left us but she was very negative and I think that held us back. I’m now living independently and I’ve qualified as a teacher. I am proud, but left with a broken heart.

I think we love these stories because we need to see that things aren’t perfect. We actually thrive on a setback or a heart break. It puts the fire in our bellies.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the florist

He came into her shop in jeans, looking tired,

Bedraggled, as he placed his hands upon the counter top.

The florist put her hands on his and felt the warmth

The love that coursed through languid veins, that wanted to give up.

She smiled and moved away, he didn’t need to give his name.

The flowers she had made for him were in her sweetly scented room,

A simple spruce of creams and pinks, the words ‘my love’

Printed on the envelope, she hadn’t read the card, tempted though she was

She thought of it as private words, between a husband and a wife.

He touched the petals as she proffered them, in hands that wanted,

That needed to reach out and touch his skin.

But soon he scooped them up into his arms and nodded thanks

And as the little bell sang out to signal that he’d left

She sighed and wished she didn’t get so wrapped

In clients lives, their loves, their pains, their wants.

This man had wanted back his wife, she didn’t figure in his dreams.

The funerals were always hard, she hoped that she would see

That man again in different circumstance.

She knew that this time she had fallen bad,

She knew that she was in too deep.