I suffered from Peony envy for years and didn’t even know it. I loved those cotton candy blossoms in my grandmother’s garden but by the time my aunts and cousins divvied up the cuttings to transplant I was away at college. We talked about slicing off sprigs for me but never got around to it. As my friends and I settled into houses and gardens of our own, I began to notice the flowers again… bursting, blooming and beckoning.

My Peony envy was subtle but chronic. I was in awe of those vibrant bushes but didn’t have one. It occurred to me more than once that somewhere out there were relatives of my grandmother’s plants. One day I decided to take matters into my own hands. Rather than lament further or track down the original cuttings, I stopped by a nursery and picked out a few Peonies of my very own. In an instant my peony envy was cured. I didn’t need a specimen tracing back to my grandmother’s garden; just a little reminder of all it represented. The varieties I planted still take my breath away when they pop up with vivid colors and memories every June.

What I learned by diagnosing and curing my Peony envy is that we can choose to release our attachment to things and retain the good feelings associated with them. It’s easy to get all worked up about a specific desk, clock or Peony cutting and lose sight of the meaning behind it. I’ve slid down that slippery slope before and am grateful to have caught myself this time. I climbed to higher ground where I can see that when it comes to happy memories there should be more than enough to go around… and around.