The narrow strip of gravel and fence affectionately known as our backyard has provided endless opportunities for me to make my brown thumb even browner. We love flowers, but clearly, we don't really love the responsibility that comes with actually growing them. Despite my best efforts, I have ended up killing nearly every plant that I have placed in this mostly shaded, easy-to-forget-to-water area. However, about a month ago, I tried a little gardenia bush, which to my shock and delight is currently overflowing with blossoms.
As I darted through the backyard the other day, my mind focused on one of the many important/pointless items on my to-do list, I was suddenly struck by the most amazing scent from the gardenias. It literally stopped me in my tracks. Right then, I cut off a small flower and placed it in a little silver cup that I recently got at a flea market in Italy. Now our bathroom is perfumed by its sweet and surprisingly strong fragrance which is a very good thing as we have a 4 1/2 year old boy who frequents that room.
Miracle of miracles (admittedly not the biggest one we've ever experienced but nonetheless...), the spray rose bushes in our front yard have awoken from their possum-like state of "playing dead", spraying themselves all over the yard. Not bad for a black thumb.
Maybe gardening will be given more time and love in our future, but for now, it's just a great metaphor for so many things, beauty from ashes, for one, quite literally. Just a small reminder to enjoy the small, sweet-smelling things around us. And if there is a lack of such, maybe to just slow down and look a little closer as you never know what might have sprouted up since you last checked.