“Come and see what I found on the side yard today,” my husband said three days ago while we were in the garage.
He sounded so excited that, instead of rushing my bag of fresh groceries into the house, I left it in the trunk of my car and went with him. I rarely go to that part of the yard and I never see it from the house because there are no windows to it on the first floor. It’s a narrow fenced and gated strip lush with a ground cover that invaded from the yard of our next door neighbors.
The surprise was a single-clump of calla lilies which had grown unheralded and unsung (until then, anyway). It boasted more than half a dozen large white, gorgeous flowers.
I smiled in delight at the surprise. One of the small things that could happen on any day. Something unexpected that could make your day and make you feel you’ve been blessed. (Here’s what I thought of God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy and of Jane Austen. A Life in Small Things.)
Neither of us planted calla lily bulbs in our yard and I didn’t know how this one got there. I peeked into our neighbors’ yard. No calla lilies anywhere, so our single plant couldn’t have just migrated.
My husband said, “I think I know the provenance of these flowers.” He sometimes likes to use big words.
So, of course, I eagerly asked him to tell me.
“You see that California bay just outside the gate? It survived the fire that gutted the hills years ago, before we built this house. I saw the burned stump of that tree spring back into life. It’s on our property. I believe Margaret planted the bay tree.”
“She was the lady who lived in the house on this lot before the fire burned it down.”
He paused, then said, “I believe Margaret planted calla lilies, too.”
“Don’t you see? This bulb has been revived after all these years of lying dormant. Margaret is letting us feel her presence again.”
“I love your story,” I said. And I believed it, too. Silently, I thanked Margaret for her blessing.
I picked the flowers so we could see them and enjoy them each day that they lasted. And remember Margaret.
I took pictures of the calla lilies, bunched up in a white vase.
And I sat in front of them the next day and “painted” them on my iPad.