Posts Tagged ‘flower’

lilies

May 7, 2010

Yesterday morning I walked around the front corner of my house, past the “Cousin It” tree (my descriptive name for our Weeping Fruitless Mulberry), under the red plum tree and over to the water spigot.  As I reached down to turn on the water, my eyes beheld a nearly hidden treasure.

Several slender stalks bent by the weight of tiny white bells had emerged from the green undergrowth beneath the red plum tree. I quietly gasped at their beauty and instantly thought of my mother.

Lily of the Valley was her favorite flower. She carried a bouquet of them in her wedding. These particular flowers under our tree, Les had carefully dug up and placed in plastic containers for us to transport all the way from my parents’ cabin in northern Michigan to our home here in Omaha, NE. We wanted a tangible memory of her and our times spent together up at Hubbard Lake. That was 17 years ago this August.

Yesterday, May 6, was my mother’s birthday. She would have been 77. Of course that wasn’t on my mind when I went walking across the front yard to turn on the water. But that visual instantly brought her to mind. I decided to take a photo of the little flower and as I went into the house to get my camera, a song my mother used to sing popped into my head.

My mother was an elementary school music teacher and she knew every song that was ever written, it seemed to me! We’d be having a conversation while driving in the car and she’d start singing a song with lyrics that matched the topic! We’d pass a train and hear “Little Red Caboose” with chug chugs and all!

That was fun when we were little, but fell into the ‘most embarrassing’ category once we were a bit older!

I smile as I recall her sense of humor and teasing delight as she knew it horrified us to have her sing that way, especially if our friends were around! She didn’t let us squelch her fun! She just chuckled and sang louder!

I could still hear my mother’s lovely voice in my mind singing this song to me, and now I was singing the song with her under my breath as I took the pictures posted here.

“White coral bells, upon a slender stalk

Lilies-of-the-Valley deck my garden walk.

Oh, don’t you wish, that you could hear them ring?

That can happen only when the fairies sing.”

I don’t believe in fairies any more than I believe in the Easter Bunny, but I do love this song and the magical feeling it stirs in me. For to look at the tender little shoots laden with delicate bells is to look at beauty perfected. It is to see the hand of God, who created the universe, yet took the time to determine every minute detail, down to the tiny scalloped edges.

I don’t believe in coincidences either. I woke up yesterday knowing that it was my mother’s birthday. I honored her in my heart by thinking about her and savoring memories of her beautiful life and her legacy that lives on in me. It wasn’t a coincidence that I’d notice these lilies and be blessed with another treasured memory of her on the day of her birth, in May. Memories of my mother line the walk of the garden in my mind. They are the lilies in my life. The song in my heart.