A few days ago as my daughter and I were walking, I spied this peony dressed in its full glory. I knew I wanted to write about it, but I wasn't sure how. I started a poem about lingering in the petals and dancing with the ants, but that fell flat. So, I put it away.
Today, when I saw the invitation to go outside, fling my arms open, and stretch my heart, I knew it was time to take another look at this peony and tell its story.
As I walked over to it, I hollered at Megan, "Look! Look how big this is, and it is the only that has bloomed." She didn't find this as amazing as I did, and she continued walking as I went over for a closer look.
The neighbor had four bushes of peonies in his yard, and this bloom was the only one. All the others were still buds holding tight. I found this moment in nature rather strange.
Looking closer at it, I imagined how scared it must have been. Being different. Being lonely. Maybe feeling like it doesn't belong. I have been struggling with this same feeling lately, and I think that may be why this flower reached out for me.
But then I realized this lovely peony was standing tall and strong and vibrant, confident in its own place in the garden surrounded by so many others. I needed to draw strength from its glory.
I needed to learn that when people dig deep, fling open their arms, stretch their hearts...maybe...just maybe, that's when they bloom.