My friend K., who brought the peonies from my last post, told me that her mother had a sign she took from house to house as she moved throughout her life; it said, simply "Bloom where you are planted."
In some ways, that's a very Buddhist way to look at things, isn't it? Be where you are. Love the life you have. Feel gifted.
And of course, easier said than done.
Eleven years ago today, I married my husband at a farm in the mountains of Massachusetts. It was a mid-point between NJ, where my family was, and his, in NH and VT, a location we'd settled on after lots of heated conversations with my parents. (We wanted simplicity; my father wanted chandeliers.)
The day dawned stormy, and a huge thunderstorm threatened to move our outdoor ceremony inside, but in the end the sun came out, and there was a flurry of activity as chairs were wiped down, equipment was moved, and people picked their way through the wet grass.
In my quest for simplicity, while still abiding by my father's wishes to do this the "traditional" way, I asked the florist to make bouquets with early summer wildflowers, the kind that come in purple and yellow. The florist probably thought we were a little crazy to be paying him for wildflowers, but they were just right.
S. used to pick me bouquets of wildflowers while we were hiking. One of the things I love about them is that they bloom where they're planted: sometimes in the most unlikely places, under the most harsh conditions. They are often more vibrant in color than the cultivated varieties we get from greenhouses.
This month is NaBloPoMo. I decided to commit this time not because I want more readers (though of course I'd love more readers; who wouldn't?), but because I need to remember to bloom where I'm planted. To reclaim this space that is mine, to own it, like wildflowers. Not to yearn for something different, but to love and nurture this thing, this soil, that I have.
Which takes discipline, and practice, and commitment, and the willingness to be open to whatever might happen.
Sort of like marriage, too.
Happy anniversary, S. Here's to many, many more wildflower bouquets.