Monday, April 14, 2008

Green Thumb

Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love. --Stevie Wonder

Clematis will always remind me of my mother.
Not because they were her favorite flower----in fact, I don't really remember her ever even mentioning them. She loved flowers and gardening and had such a green thumb. But, I don't remember clematis being in her garden. I planted my clematis vine years ago---probably 10 at least. I've never been known for my green thumb, but the vine did okay. I wouldn't say that it thrived, but it grew a bit over the years and always had pretty green leaves on it. But it never bloomed. One year, I'd saved enough money to have a new privacy fence built and my only concern for the builders was to be careful with the clematis vine. After they were done, I noticed that my warning had gone unheeded and the vine was trampled and broken. "Oh well", I thought---"it never really bloomed anyway." But, I carefully brushed off what was left of the vine and replanted the roots. The clematis vine lived and continued to produce a few spindly trailers and green leaves each year----but no blooms.
Then, on April 17, 2003, as I went out to get in my car to go to work, a flash of white caught my eye and I looked to the fence to see one beautiful, perfect bloom on the clematis vine!!! On the one year anniversary of my mother's death, the clematis bloomed for the very first time. And it has bloomed every year since then, multiplying the number of blooms each year. For me, it was just a little reminder, through the nature that my mother loved so much, that she would always be with me.

This morning as I left for work, I noticed that there were several buds and thought to myself that once again the clematis would soon be in bloom. And when I returned home this afternoon, there was this one perfect bloom on the vine, with the promise of many more to come. It's not quite April 17th, but my mother always liked to be early--never late!!!
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