To see wonders
Upon a bank I sat, a child made seer
Of one small primrose flowering in my mind.
Better than wealth it is, I said, to find
One small page of Truth’s manuscript made clear…
…The years that pass
Like tired soldiers nevermore have given
Moments to see wonders in the grass.
— Patrick Kavanagh
This post is for Denise, who inspired me to challenge myself this past week. The goal was for each of us to buy fresh flowers for ourselves. Denise had achieved this almost immediately, but I took a few days longer. However, with her example to encourage me, I ended up with the lovely primroses pictured above.
Earlier, in a discussion in the comments section, I had written that cut flowers are a good investment despite their short lives. I mentioned that it was easier for me to buy myself a potted plant I could eventually transplant outdoors, hoping that it might last a bit longer, but almost never bought myself freshly cut flowers. Denise said she had a similar reluctance to treat herself to a bouquet, so we agreed we’d bring home some botanical joy as soon as possible.
So my original plan was to buy cut flowers, not something potted. The interesting thing was that, had I not gone into Kroger’s in search fresh cut flowers to follow Denise’s example, I would never have found these adorable primroses, which are among my all time favorite flowers. Like the beloved daffodils that always top my list, primroses bloom very early, before winter is past. Is there a pattern here, with my preferences? I think so!
Every year, I search (usually in vain) for potted primroses to enjoy. I love their vibrant colors and deep green foliage. But they are hard to find; maybe I just don’t know where to look. Even when I see them advertised, the stores are always sold out by the time I get there. The few I have bought over the years have transplanted beautifully, sometimes coming back again the following year. Our Alexandria townhome that I sold last year had a lovely yellow primrose I had planted beside the patio. It returned annually, blooming in the still-cold weather, reminding me that spring had almost arrived.
Anyway, after I read about Denise having bought herself some flowers, I went into my local Kroger’s, which boasts a wonderful floral department. Despite how beautiful their displays are, I almost never take time to wander and buy; I’m always in a rush to get the practical groceries and get home with them. But I was determined to find some cut flowers to live up to my own words.
Imagine my delight when I saw these lovely primroses! At only $1.50 per plant, I could afford all five of the colors on display. Now I will have the double pleasure of flowers to enjoy indoors, and flowers to plant in a few weeks in the new planting beds adjacent to my just-finished patio. I was so excited to bring them home.
The next morning, I was having my usual cold-weather reluctance to leave the snug and cozy cocoon of my bed. All the usual cares and worries came flooding into my mind, setting me up for the gloomy mood with which I begin far too many days. Then suddenly I remembered my new flowers, and immediately, it was as if a light was switched on inside my brain. Just the thought of seeing them when I went downstairs made starting the day an easier task for me.
Thank you, Denise, for helping me to see wonders! It does often seem that the years “pass like tired soldiers” but as the poet has written, there are wonders woven throughout, truths that are better than wealth.
A postscript: readers who enjoy Christian reflections might appreciate the full poem from which the quote above is drawn.