So when I was putting this post together, I kept thinking maybe I should call this blog “Defeat Despair with Flowers.” But then I thought, couldn’t it just as well be called “Defeat Despair with Books?” Or “with Tea?” Or “with Animals?” Hmm, I guess I’d better stick with Defeat Despair. There are countless ways to do that, for which I’m deeply grateful.
But back to the flowers. One of the first things I had to do when I was released from the hospital was go to the grocery store to get some suitably bland food. Bland is not typically part of my life, and certainly not what I keep in my pantry. But I wasn’t hungry anyway. I just needed to eat, to heal and re-gain my strength.
Imagine my surprise then, when I got a wonderful (though non-edible) surprise as I was checking out with a few unexciting food items. Just as I reached the head of the line, the cashier at Lidl told us, her customers, “See all those flowers? They’re free if you want to take some.”
Those of us standing around looked at each other in disbelief before the cashier emphatically repeated that they were FREE. The bouquets didn’t look old or wilted, but maybe that was the point; perhaps they would be losing their fresh look soon, and a very smart store manager realized the soon-to-be-faded flowers could buy far more than their weight in good will if they were given to delighted customers. We didn’t need to be told more than twice. Several of us gladly scooped up a bouquet to take home.
Though I didn’t feel all that great, when I got home I made time to cut the flower tips off and arrange them, setting the arrangement beside the lovely one from Amy that I pictured last week, which was still beautiful. I can vouch for the healing power of the sight of those flowers. I took their loveliness in large doses through every day of the past week. It took the edge off the nasty antibiotics that make me feel nauseated, dizzy and miserable…though I’m thankful that the pain that made them necessary is gone.
I’m also thankful for each of you who have checked in with me in various ways, letting me know that your thoughts and prayers are with me. It truly means more than I can say.
Pevernagie is right; life hands out gorgeous bouquet to go along with the challenges and difficulties. For many of us, these “daily little wonders” provide the fuel that keeps us going through the tough times. May your most difficult hours be bursting with unexpected blooms and timely blessings.