Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Buds bursting

I was distracted during Mass by the flowers in front of the altar. Very, very gradually, the long white buds were opening to display a long yellow pistil and stamens. They reminded me of the Spider Lilies, so common in Zambia, for a short time at least, and also of the Evening Primroses in England. With patience, it is possible to watch their buds open, at first slowly and then suddenly, with such apparent force that the whole plant shakes.

When these flowers open, for a short while, the petals hang, limp and bedraggled, yet, within the space of perhaps one hour, they fill out and stand firm, beautiful and bearing little resemblance to the tightly-closed bud that gave birth to such loveliness.

It can be frustrating watching these flowers open. I’ve stood in front of a plant for long periods, trying to predict the exact moment when the next bud will burst open, but whilst watching one, another blooms instead, and again, I’ve missed that instant of glory.

Patience is not an easy virtue to practice, but it has its rewards. There is always so much to do, so many things to fill my time, but can my jobs really match the importance of watching the birth of a flower?

God bless,
Sr. Janet