May 28, 2009

Rose Alice's Iris

An Iris Blessing

May your blooms be floriferous and in good form,
Distinctive, with good substance, flare, and airborne,
With standards and falls that endure, never torn.
May you display many buds and blooms sublime,
In graceful proportion on strong stalks each day,
Gently floating above the fans and the fray.
May you too reach toward the moon and stars,
Bloom after bloom, many seasons in the sun,
Enjoying your life, health, and each loved one,
Until your 'living days are artfully done.

By Georgia Gudykunst

As I drive along in an afternoon jaunt, going no where in a hurry, just enjoying the day and the countryside. I slow down and really look around at the fields as they pass by and I see the green pastures with the cattle quietly grazing in the afternoon sun. It always causes a tiny place in my chest of open up and I feel the joy released into my soul. It never fails to heal a broken part of me.

I always say a quiet "thanks" for this moment and the gift of small things. I wonder if anyone else does this? Am I strange? Why do we not talk about these moments of wonder and gratitude.

When my son was little I would ask him to look at the cow in the pasture and remark on what a lucky cow to live in such a beautiful place with sweet grass to eat. When he was little and before he became jaded he would remark on how the cow was indeed lucky - like how the cow must be happy to hear those birds singing in the trees while she eats her lunch.

Later when age had opened his eyes, he would comment on the fate of the cow being turned into hamburgers. Then we would have a discussion about ignorance is truly bliss.

One enduring pleasure each Spring is the appearance of Iris blossoms that seem to survive in seemingly impossible places like roadside ditches, in weedy yards of abandoned houses and in fields. Waste areas brightened by these tough, resilient and long living flowers.

My great grandmother's house has been gone for years - almost 30 years but her Iris still bloom where her house used to be and the ditch along the road that passes by the now empty place where she raised her children and her grandchildren played. I remember staying with her and how long her hair was when she removed the pins at night preparing for bed. I remember her kitchen where we shared meals and her piano in the living room. I remember the tapestry she had hanging on the wall and how odd I thought that was. I remember her removing the little leather coin purse from her handbag and giving each of her great grandchildren a coin for candy. I remember her robin's egg blue gloves, hat and matching handbag.

I remember how surprised I was the first time I was shown photos of her as a child, teenager, young woman and her wedding photo. She was so young, and I could see the family resemblance - she looked alot like me. But, she was old that day with sagging, wrinlked skin, and watery eyes that looked at me in adoration. She loved her great grandchildren with their tiny hands and boundless energy. She would laugh at our antics and pat us gently as we rushed past her chair before my mother would send us outside to run among the Iris.

My great grandmother's name was Rose Alice and I think of her each time I see an Iris in a roadside ditch.

1 comment:

branch manager said...

Thanks for this story of your connection to your grandmother. I have a piece of my grandmother Sadie's delphinium in my garden that holds a special place in my heart. Three generations of women in my family spent many moments wandering through gardens together. It seemed to be when some of the most important things were said and I hope my daughter has the same joy from a garden of her own some day. And yes, I say a quiet "thanks" too.