Saturday, May 28, 2011

If happiness was a seed…

If happiness was a seed and grew up to be a flower, this is the flower it would be. In which case, happiness would have to be a rhizome, but you get the point.

Why this flower? Well, it could actually be any one of these dozen or so irises that started blooming last week in front of our house. I waited three springs for these flowers, but their history goes back much further than that.

These irises came from Grandma Zada's yard in Nebraska. Mom dug them up, put them in her carry-on, and hauled them half way across the country for me about four years ago now. They were the only item I requested from Grandma's house. I waited for the following spring to plant them, which meant I planted them in a concrete planter on the happy little patio at the Mini. As if I had carefully and thoughtfully stored them just right in the plastic bag surrounded by a paper bag (you know mom and bugs), they sprang right up—fans of dark green, promising-looking leaves. However, they didn't flower that first year.

By mid-summer, our lives were on the move again as we moved into Big Red, aka the Barn. I dug up the irises and moved them to the new house and planted them out front next to the driveway. Since they had been transplanted yet again, the next spring offered a repeat performance: big green fans of healthy-looking leaves, but no flowers. We held out hope for quite a while, but as we watched irises bloom and eventually die all over town, we knew it wasn't going to happen.

Well, this year was finally their year. I didn't even know what type of iris they were or what color they were going to be. They're just perfect. Then again, they could have been the ugliest flower you've ever seen and they'd still be just perfect to me. Everything they represent is good and happy.

When we went to Ogallala for Grandma's funeral, I loved getting to show the Boyfriend around town and show him all the places that meant so much to me. But it just wasn't the same without going to Grandma's house—the backyard, the beer 30, the porch, the flowers, the birdbath. That was Grandma. These irises are all those wonderful things combined. And they make me feel like a tangible part of that house, of Grandma, is still with us. If only those rhizomes could talk…

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