Sunday, September 11, 2016
Flowers Do Help
Can Flowers Change Your Life? XVIII. April 17, 2016
Flowers do help. I had one plant come up
in the oval garden along with the winter’s
crop of weeds and the daffodils. I couldn’t
tell: weed or flower? I waited. Then an iris
bloomed. The only one of that smaller kind
I had years ago. It has had several on that
one stalk, a star in weed heaven. Then my
big orchid with the long name phalaenopsis
began blooms. Two are open, and a third
starts today. I moved it from the western
window to my dining table, shifted file
folders to give it place. The big flat leaves
got too much sun and some turned yellow,
but on four stems it has twenty-one blooms.
A year ago it had twelve on two stems.
I’ve never had such an exotic bloomer in
my care. It not only survived, it flourished.
A happy plant. These days when I feel
the weight of all that I can’t do fast enough,
such surprises feed me. The cardinal visits
the new feeder, and the seeds disappear
faster. He sings in sun when I am wrestling
with weeds and their long, stringy roots.
The hens come rushing to wait for the
armfuls of weeds I’m removing so I can
plant onions, leeks, beets, peas, and carrots.
These crops are going into the earth late but
are taking hold. In the beginning I felt
lucky when anything grew. So many risks
plants take. Here am I, risking death every
day–in my mind. Aging has slowed me
only a little, yet I have to summon new depths
of personal courage when I put on my gloves
and pick up my shovel. I forget sometimes
that I’m working alongside the way the
world is made, that Grain of the Universe.
My hope is to flourish until I die.