By Brian Gomez
My love for plants marked a new period in my life and can specifically be tracked back to when I first arrived in Miami, Florida from Colombia when I was a small child. My mother worked in a flower factory, and some days I would not see my mother as she would leave for work before I woke up and arrive home after I was already asleep. However, even if I did not see her, I knew she had come home because of the new fresh cut flowers I would find in a vase in the morning before I left for school. While she brought many types of flowers home, her favorite was the flowers of the Strelitzia reginae, known to us at the time as “Ave de Paraiso”. This evergreen perennial creates beautiful flowers whose shape resemble that of a bird. My love for other beings has expanded, but this plant will always have a special place in my life, reminding me of my mother’s bird-like free spirit.
Brian Gomez is an undergraduate student at Florida International University. He is pursuing a double major in Biology and Biochemistry.