“Let a thing be but a sort of punctual surprise…let it be delicate, painted and gratuitous, hinting that the Creator is solely occupied with aesthetic considerations…”
― Hope Mirrlees
Mirrlees has captured one of the things I so love about flowers. “Punctual surprise” is the perfect way to describe them. They come back every year at around the same time, and yet the first sight of them each season is somehow an unexpected delight, like fireworks going off in my heart, lighting things up with color and pizzazz.
When I read this quote, I also realized why it’s so hard for me to let go of our York home, and why I love to return there. It’s partly because we have planted so much around the home and yard over the years that we have some sort of botanical color in every month and season. Although I generally spend a few days out of every two weeks there, I almost always find a punctual surprise waiting for me.
As if that were not enough, the York neighborhood is full of people who obviously love flowers as much as I do, so the neighbors’ homes offer their own regular seasonal shows. No matter my mood, it’s enough to lift my heart and bring a smile to my face. The children on bikes and dogs being walked and runners jogging by add to the festivity.
Recently, one of my favorite surprises waiting for me in York County was the lily plant that I wrote about during July of last year. This year, the number of flowers had more than doubled, with a dozen gorgeous blossoms on that one stem. Despite the weight of so many brightly-colored posies, the stem did not bend at all, displaying the bouquet with a flourish of greenery that enhanced the floral beauty.
What punctual surprises do you most enjoy at this time of year?