Alas, winter chill, you cold-hearted soul; you interrupt my intake of reverie. In sweet, sweet sorrow I clip the last blooms of fall -- wildflowers glowing in fuchsia, crimson, burgundy and linen. This daybreak, just past the first frost, the browning of burn now presses their edges. alas, valiance on display until the very last, but for one. one One set of glowing petals peeks from below, having crept around and under; its parent stem bent and broken to the ground, yet, this one has found its way to shine upward. … diminutive, brilliant, petite and perfect. Why am I surprised this vine has bloomed so, has outlasted its fellows there in its poverty and low estate? Why? In its meekness Its humility Its hardship Its fortitude All of these and beauty, too. Why, did I presuppose? its offering would be less, its contribution trivial, overlookable pitiable weak. Look beyond! the bridal bouquet awaits its day at the altar, its fulfillment in the one counted out, now counted upon. there. now
That’s just your reflection, silly!
This flower made me laugh out loud.
Its tall, proud lavender bloom bending way over the edge of the stone wall that contained it. I could just hear its surprise at seeing its own reflection in the stone sidewalk.
But what a meager image that shadow shows. Not nearly the beauty of the lovely lavender petals. Dim and brown, it is only a 2-D, black and white version of the full color original.
“I can see myself!” but the me I see is not who I am.
The words of 1 Corinthians 13:12 leapt to mind: For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
What a day that will be! When it is no longer just the reflection I am looking at but the real thing. Just imagine the beauty that God sees. In me. In us all.
Droopy but so not dead
I chose church over soccer this Sunday, and the show went on without me. Apparently, it was quite a physical affair, the Reston team persevering in the end by a 4-1 final score. My daughter Olivia scored one of the goals, so she says, and assisted on two of the others. But what she’s most proud of is defending the honor (and bodies) of her teammates. one in particular, whose playing style can be a bit annoying to the other team, I am sure. Apparently, annoyance turned physical and led to cautions and ejections.
My child sees her self as the “enforcer.” Really she is the defender. Any underdog, any where, is a cause for her concern. On this day that played out on the soccer field.
But I didn’t see it. What I saw instead was one droopy, white Mother’s Day flower which walked in with my sweaty but pleased daughter. The flower is a tradition with the Bobcats. Hand it to their big-hearted coach who makes sure the mother’s are recognized on their special day – which is always a travel team’s soccer day because it falls on a Sunday mid-May. He arrives with a dozen and a half and the players distribute them to their moms in the stands before play begins.
Of course, I wasn’t in the stands. I was in the pews. So my flower waited to greet me some hours later, droopy but not yet dead. My daughter and I both laughed as I got out the vase and stuffed it in, hoping the neck would be support enough for its fragile stem. But no, it drooped sadly.
Have no fear, Olivia to the rescue. Toothpicks, tape, twist-ties and a bit of ingenuity later, she has the stem stabilized and the droop managed. She learned this, she says, from her paternal grandfather who was a renowned Bonsai expert.
Next day, wouldn’t you know, the little lady is standing up almost straight. There, stabilized by a splint, wrapped with twist-ties, my flower beams happy Mother’s Day to me. And I beam back. It looks so like the newly repaired knees of the young women athletes I dearly love to train. Fragile to look at but so strong on the inside. A bit of special attention and they spring back to life.
This morning, my Mother’s Day flower greets me with yet another expression. Its pedals spread wide, so pleased to be beautiful, it is hugging me hello. Or maybe thank you. But probably, “Look out world, here I come!”
Never underestimate a rose. Or a child with a mind and heart to rescue.