Sunday, November 21, 2010

plants that speak

At my feet was a large blue tub.It was Christmas morning at my son's house in the Georgia mountains and this was my gift from another son who had drawn my name.I was mystified and also unaware that my husband was in terror,thinking that it contained an unwanted(by him)puppy.We had buried our last dog the summer before and I was glad I hadn't thought it was a pet or I would have been very disappointed.

I finally opened the tub and found two large Christmas cactus with no blooms but alot of potential.This November, they are gloriously in bloom in my kitchen window.One bright velvet red,the other shining pink and I love the way they cascade over the pot rims.The kitchen feels warmer,friendlier in this crisp November.And I always think of my son when I take pleasure in them.

I am afraid that I have too many plants and this summer my husband will have to drag them up to New York with us but they are my scrap books.My straggly Crown of Thorns was purchased over twenty years ago on a trip my youngest son,a friend of his and I took to the monastery in Conyers when he was ten years old.How can I forget the story told by a young priest we met there about the Holy Thursday that had just passed.His blue eyes glowed as he told how an elderly man came up to him after the service with tears and told him that his sight had been restored in that hour.He had lost his sight many years before from diabetes.

I also have a huge Peace Plant that I bought in 1990 when it was small and non-descript,for two dollars.I used it to reward myself for a promotion.It speaks to me of that satisfying day when my hard work paid off.My four orchids each have shoots and buds of unknown colored flowers and I think of Brenda buying them for me and how we both will enjoy when they finally bloom in the spring.

When I reconnected with a childhood friend,I gave her a lovely shoot with roots from my wax plant.This fast grower gets the most unusual and strange looking purple flowers.Rosemary called it the friendship vine.I think hers died but as a symbol,I have another for her.

The morning glories that volunteered in the front garden gave me so much joy this summer.How the seeds got to my shade garden, I have no idea but I like to think of the birds that we feed,gifting us back.Not to mention the divine fecundity that brought them to flower.

Walt Whitman knew.I feel his grateful heart in this:"A morning glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books."

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Stairway of Heaven

Some connections take awhile to come together,at least for me.These two events happened over twenty-five years apart and when the first popped up the other day,unexamined for years,it cleaved to the second and said,"See what you can make out of this."

When my nine year old grandson Riley was about four ,he came to his Dad with a serious look on his face.This boy is a red-head,cute as a button,with a sweetness about him that I can't describe without tearing up. Anyway, he said to my son,"Dad,when I left the other place,I was told that I had to go down the steps by myself,to come into Mommy and come to Earth.No one else could come with me,God said." My son asked him if he was afraid,he said,"No,I was O.K."

It was shortly after that that I found this picture on line.Nowhere,have I ever heard of this experience being taught or discussed.My son had to call me right away the day it happened and we both decided that it sounded like an eyewitness account,a memory.Then the other night, this happening came to mind.

My youngest son was about the same age as Riley in 1981;we were visiting relatives in Washington D.C.and had gone into the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.All of us were stunned at the mosaic behind the grand altar.It is mostly in red and depicts a fierce,ferocious face of Christ.My son was not in Sunday School and had no exposure to Christian art but he said,very matter-of-factly ,"That is not Jesus".
That was it,but said with such authority.I pondered his certainty then.

I asked Riley about this the other day and he has forgotten it.I wonder how many other accounts there might be that we aren't privy to, because we don't know to ask.