I was waiting my turn in the checkout lane last night and noticed a man walking towards the exit. His only purchase a large bouquet of flowers. He held it low, head down as if hoping to pass unnoticed. And I smiled and thought, “Oh, she’s going to love it!”
I remember going shopping with my dad when I was a girl. Stopping here, stopping there as we checked off his list of errands. Then just before heading home, he made one more stop: the flower shop. My mom’s expression of joy told him he got it right. A dozen yellow roses, in my mom’s favorite color.
Early this spring I drove to the fitness trail, in desperate need of some fresh air. I walked along in heavy solitude, my hand clutching the Kleenex, my eyes on the trail in front of me. In a random moment, I lifted my gaze to the fence-line beside me. There, in glorious splendor, was a little cactus in full bloom. My heart lifted.
A few weeks later I was out for a jog. The sun was setting, Friday night was taking shape, but I felt lonely. My pace slowed to a walk as I fought the emotion welling up. I took a deep breath and lifted my gaze, and there to my right was an overgrown bush with a single rogue branch leaning down towards me. On the very tip of the branch, right at eye level, were the most gorgeous flowers in perfect bloom.
Every now and then I treat myself to a beach sunrise. I set my alarm for way too early, make the 40-minute drive in the dark to the Starbucks drive-thru, grab my anticipated grande dark roast and head towards the sand. It’s a happy couple hours I spend watching the rising sun transform the sky and sand and waves. My coffee cup empty, my camera full, I collected my chair and bag and towel and turned to leave. Just up the steps and to the left of the boardwalk I noticed some flowers growing in the sand.
And as I leaned my chair against the rail and squatted down, I saw that a bright green bee had noticed them, too.
The backyard neighbor has a gorgeous garden. At least, I assume it’s gorgeous. The six-foot privacy fence won’t let me see her handiwork, but she seems to always be outside weeding and watering and singing to her flowers. I was sitting on the back patio recently when I noticed an escapee. A single vine from one of her plants had found a crack in the fence, and it was blooming in beautiful pink against the plain brown boards. Exquisite.
And I was thinking about how God fashions the soul. He knows how beauty comforts the heart — comforts my heart, and lifts my spirit.
And it suddenly dawned on me: God gives me flowers.