LeAnne Martin
AuthorSpeaker
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Peonies

When we moved in to this house and flowers started blooming that first spring, I discovered the small plant with shiny green leaves. It produced large white flowers with a touch of fuchsia inside. I thought I knew what the plant was but wasn’t sure. Peonies? I had read about them before but never seen a real one. They aren’t a usual part of the landscape where I live. I hastily gathered and brought the large intricate blooms inside where the sweet fragrance filled the kitchen.

But the plant is in a part of the yard that I don’t see regularly and frankly, I forgot to check on them the next year. Last year, I remembered it but we had such a drought that the bush withered before it could bloom.

A few weeks ago, we went to a dinner party at a friend’s house. In the front yard stood two bushes loaded with the biggest white flowers (with fuschia in the center) I had ever seen. One of them could fill both my hands together. Our friend confirmed what I already knew: peonies. Inside her house they graced the tables, countertops, the bathroom vanity. I was happy to see them and to know that, unless the drought struck again, we should soon have similar blooms on our plant and in our house.

But I forgot to check again! That is, until Monday. Monday was very stressful, so that afternoon my dog and I stepped out on the back deck for some fresh air. I walked to the railing and looked at the yard below. I suddenly remembered the peony. Leaning over the railing and turning my head far to the left, I saw them: four large peonies, slumped over because they were too heavy for the stems. Yes! I thought. I’ll cut them after dinner. I’ve got to get back to work. But then I felt this urging: Don’t wait. Go get them now.

And a few minutes later, they stood in a vase on our kitchen counter that a few weeks ago held flowers from a friend’s garden. Their faces and their fragrance have cheered me in the middle of a hard week. They do look a little timeworn—they must have bloomed at the end of last week. And to think, I almost missed it! It would have been my loss.

2 comments:

Laura Ross said...

Flowers from my garden are one of my favorite indulgences!

Why are we so overwhelmed when a delivery person brings flowers and so nonchalant when God does it?

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...

Laura,

Good point! Maybe it has to do with the money spent on flowers for delivery? I agree with you: what a gift a garden is. And a friend's garden too! :)

LeAnne

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