By Jennifer DePriest
Well, it is that time of year when outside maintenance at my humble abode is in full swing. The past year brought many challenges in my life and that meant a lot of outside tasks had to go by the wayside. Last year for Mother’s Day, my children bought me four peony plants. Yes, I know they are not supposed to grow here in our neck of the woods, but I am always one for a good challenge, so I wanted to try. I did not plant them right away, but opted instead to place them in an area in my yard that would allow me to see how they liked the light before I placed them into the ground. Spring gave way to summer, which meant scorching heat and numerous family commitments, leaving my four little potted peonies in major disrepair. And, if I am being completely honest, I pretty much thought I had killed them.
A funny thing happened within the past month, I noticed that the four plants were growing like crazy and one even had a BLOOM. So, during spring break, my boys helped me plant my little peonies and Easter weekend my one bloom opened up to give me the greatest gift ever. You see, in watching this process, one that took a year to play out, I learned something very valuable. Sometimes we can take on goals that, to others, may seem impossible. At times, it can appear as if our goals have died and that there is no hope. But if we do not lose hope, at just the right time, in just the right season, our dream can bloom. We can indeed bloom where we are planted. It may not be where we intended to begin with, but we can do it with grace and dignity.
The words of Marcel Proust have had such a profound impact on me as well as this life lesson became even clearer.
“Let us be grateful to PEOPLE who make us HAPPY. They are the charming GARDENERS who make our soul BLOSSOM.”
This may be the only peony bloom my plants ever give me, but what I have learned is that beauty can grow even when we think all hope is gone. Friends can help us by planting hope and help and love into our lives. And these life experiences for us curious types can truly make our souls blossom.