Actually two events or stories came to mind. Many years ago when I lived in Reading and was just getting my gardens going, I had purchased a poppy plant. It produced a lovely bud, all hairy and ripe with life. One morning as I walked around the garden to admire all that was happening there, I saw that the bud was missing: left only was a solitary stem. Off to the side, in the grass, I found the bud. I’m pretty sure some unthinking critter chopped it off, and then left it. Because I take my gardening seriously, I felt very sad. That for which I was waiting would not be. However – several days later when I was out near the garden I spotted a blotch of orange color in the grass. The bud HAD opened – it seemed not to mind that it was no longer connected to the stem and the root system of the plant. Life, it seemed to me, could not be stifled.
The other instance is also “rooted” in nature. At the back of the home in Reading were many trees, and under them years of leaves. I added to that ground cover in the fall when I raked the back yard. My kitchen windows looked out on that area, and one year I decided I was tired of looking at brown for all the months without snow cover. So I cleared the leaves from one area – using my leaf blower I moved leaves and exposed the dirt. I did this every fall. And then ... lilies of the valley grew up in that cleared area: all it took was some light and air.
Both of these stories gave me hope, and continue to do so. I never expected that bud to bloom, but it did; I had no expectation of flowers emerging from the cleared area on the forest floor, but they did. I think the memories are so powerful because of the surprises that came with them. They remind me that no matter what a current situation looks like, there is hope: hope for tomorrow, for joy, for love, for beauty, for life.