There is nothing quite like the beauty of a flower in bloom. Every stage is a wonder to observe.
I watch the weight of the flower head and how the stem handles it. Some, like my purple allium, stand straight and tall, the flower symmetrical, the long stalks so beautiful as they effortlessly hold the flower upright.
Peonies are different. Their stalks are strong but the weight of the flower so great that slowly they bend beneath the strain until eventually the gorgeous blooms nearly touch the ground. I find it touching that in their moment of greatest glory, they bow, unable to keep the enormous bloom upright.
I look around at my children and see so many good things happening in their hearts and in their lives. The older they get the more amazed I am by them – not because they’re turning out just how I thought they would, but because they are becoming more and more THEM, the person they were meant to be. I’m learning that person has very little to do with me. They have attributes I didn’t teach them, talents I didn’t plant, struggles all their own, and potential far beyond any I have power to bestow. They are sons and daughters of God, entrusted to me for a time, but very much who they were before I got them.
Lately I feel like a peony bush – growth and welcome blessings on stems that bow under the weight of it all. I remember how I smiled with compassion at my lovely bushes, dangling their flowers in the lavender and at the edge of the lawn, grateful for that low-hanging beauty. I think that perhaps my Heavenly Father smiles in compassion at me, too, struggling to hold everything upright in a new season of motherhood, blessings nearly brushing the ground.
I’m reminded of a favorite hymn:
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.
I’ve been thinking about the words, “to bow and to bend we shan’t be ashamed.” I am grateful to be in an intense learning phase of my life, to be both blessed and challenged by my responsibilities. The bowing and bending encourage me in prayer and remind me to look to my Savior. I suppose it’s the only way to truly “come ’round right.”