We live in rented accommodation. This has its good and bad sides. One of the interesting sides is that you don’t know the history of the garden or it’s plants. At the last property we didn’t have one and in this one we do. I’ve always loved gardens so it was nice to say hello. Bear in mind this is not our garden so we are only passing each other in a moment of life and my rights within it are pretty limited. Not withstanding that, I wander round it and say hello to different things within it, remarking and exclaiming to myself as each new combination of beauty express itself through the unfolding Spring.
There is a flower in the garden, I don’t know its name or species and I have watched it develop with interest. It grows on its own, isolated among a bed of mint. How it arrived there I cannot say but, among this foreign species it has developed strong and tall. A single stem of hard blue-green among the sea of mint. I watch it every day and see the leaves unfold. In time I noticed a bud grow from its tip. Hard and surprisingly heavy the weight of it bent the stem so that it hung like a chandelier from the top. I surveyed it with interest.
Slowly, day by day the bloom opened: a beautiful pink flower . It seemed carnation like and the tight packed pink petals were both luxurious and fragile. No one had seen this unfolding drama but myself and I tried to show this strange stem how appreciated it was. It grew, like a refugee in some strange neighbourhood, untouched by my interest, with an awkward beauty that kept my attention . Sometimes I touched it and it’s weight and substance always impressed me: this single splendid stem. As quickly as it bloomed and flowered I began to see signs of browning in its petals and I realised the glory of it was on the wane. From that perfect moment of freshness to this blighted state had taken nothing more than a few days. I still loved it and saw the beauty of it cling to my attention . I could only watch the glory fade and I thanked God that I had been a witness to it’s brief unsung moment of fullfilment.
We are moving soon and I will never see that stem again but in my brief connection with that flower I learnt that loving something is not owning it. It never said it’s name or acknowledged me in any way. You wouldn’t expect that in a flower. When I met up with it’s private beauty I learnt some aspects of love. I couldn’t own it , but through a sense of its perfection, I became closer to myself. That flower seemed, in any given day, a timeless thing, permanent with no voice but it’s bloom. As days passed that sense of permanence became more illusory ,but in that brief friendship, and in this moment in my life, it made me look around myself with added wonder, and to value more what passing time I have. I too live in a rented garden and my time within it is unknown: I try to treasure every day.