Gratitude

Beauty

Gratitude. Years ago a thoughtful neighbour brought me a clump of peony roots, dug from her colourful garden, divided for another.  On a walk, I pause to admire the show of beauty blooming so splendidly in her garden.  My eyes covet the peonies, the genus Paeonia, buds wrapped tight, stalks gently holding the shy, unfurling blooms.  Some garnet, pink, and as if this isn’t enough beauty to behold, two weeks later, the white flowers show, shining through the dark night.

On the cusp of autumn, she placed three small bundles at the doorstep. They patiently wait, still, wrapped in brown paper, tied with twine, for me to discover.   Cradling the bundles, I take them to my garden, gently hand them to the earth.  Planting the woody clumps into the soil, I wonder at the magic these simple bundles of wood and roots would conjure.  Seasons changed, the little woody clumps slept snug underneath an earthen blanket.

The following spring the roots anchor, stalks push through the soil’s surface, evolving into small bushes covered with compound, deeply lobed leaves. Three garnet peonies bloom on one of the bushes. Two weeks later, the second bloom opens to reveal the purest white petals. Years later, these small clumps have mothered five beautiful bushes.

Gorgeousness. Some believe peony compounds have the power to heal.  Inhale their fragrance, touch the soft petals with a finger tip, breathe in as your heartbeat slows under this intoxicating spell.  I wonder at such beauty.  

A Dream

Her words written on an email~ I had a strange dream last night.  Tell me more, I wrote back.  These are her words.

I was sitting on a beach, tracing shapes into sand, watching as the grains shifted, the sand bits refusing to stay put, rearranging themselves, she wrote. A man came into view.  He looked to be in his early seventies and was wearing a navy cloth baseball style jacket; the same style that he used to wear.  Do your remember that jacket, Grace? The man stood and watched, met my stare.  I saw compassion in his weary eyes.  The man did not speak, merely stood in front of me.  It was surreal, as if time had stopped.

There were no words exchanged between us, no need to check the reasons, expose the painful events and emotions that tore us apart.  There were no scores to settle.  We simply met on a beach and faced one another. Then he turned and walked away toward the sun’s rise.

Dad came to say, “good-bye” to me.  He waited twenty years.