The first time I saw protea was at the Farmer's Market in Santa Barbara. Their unique shape and color fascinated me but they were expensive so I never bought any. One day I was visiting a woman's house and she had a large vase filled with them and I marveled at the abundance but still I never bought any for myself.
Last year on a road trip with my friend Judy, we were driving down Highway 1 to Big Sur and stopped at a restaurant/gift shop and found huge bushes of protea. It made me realize that both abundance and scarcity are a matter of perspective. From a Kansas perspective (where I grew up), proteas are exotic and scarce; from a Big Sur point of view they grow lush and free.
I am back in a place where there are no protea ... but the flower masters remind me that abundance is a matter of perspective and choice. I could have chosen abundance and filled a small vase with protea when I was in Santa Barbara. I can also choose abundance by reveling in the pines and oak that grow lush around me in these incredible foothills. I can exult in the small bits of scarcity that fit my budget or lavish myself in the abundance offered freely by the world around me. Another case of it's never "either/or" but always "both/and."