Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tiny Miracles

Every year in April, I'm blessed with a little garden of tiny miracles called lily of the valley.  They visit for a precious week or ten days and then retreat, but their fragrance and appearance are worth the wait.

Our family has a sweet story about this flower, and every year in April I remember it with a smile.  For 25 years we lived in a house not far from here.  Both of our children grew up in that house and we have so many good memories of those years.

About five years before we moved away, I planted a small patch of lily of the valley.  Every spring, I would eagerly watch those little shoots coming up - hoping for my first crop.  Sadly, every year for five years, I grew a crop of beautiful green leaves with no flowers!

We moved to our present house in December and used the following months to get the other house ready for sale, so for a short period of time we owned both locations. I won't lie to you.  I grieved for that house for a long time.  Many times, driving to and from, I would inadvertently turn down our old street before realizing what I was doing.  Every night around sundown was especially hard.  As a mom, I know that I was  grieving for the memories it held.

The first year in our present house also marked the year that our daughter, Ashley, was to be married.  Even though the wedding was in May, the bridal portrait was scheduled for April.  We ordered a fresh bouquet for the portrait from our friend Ruth Baxter, who just happens to be a floral magician.

Discussing the components of the bouquet, Ashley wanted all of her favorites included - white lilac, white roses, white tulips, Casablanca lily - and lily of the valley.  Ruth scheduled the bouquet for the day before the photo shoot, to be picked up the following morning.

Driving past our old street that same afternoon, I was in the process of telling myself "Don't turn!" - when it hit me - "Maybe you SHOULD turn.  What if this is the year of your first lily of the valley crop?"

And there they were - the most perfect little bundle of white flowers I had ever seen.  I quickly called Ruth to say "Stop the presses!  I'm on the way to you with some precious cargo."

We sold the house not long after that and my grief gradually worked itself out.  These days, I'm left with only smiles when I remember the wonderful days we spent there.  And Ashley's portrait, which hangs in my living room, is a sweet reminder of the goodbye gift of lily of the valley that her childhood home gave to us for her wedding.


  1. Oh, how beautiful she is! AND....I'd call this a miracle - finding those lilies of the valley blooming just when you needed them!

  2. Precious story! And how wonderful to keep the memory forever in Ashley's wedding portrait! I hope you and your family have a blessed Easter!