Needing the scent of moist soil and a way to refresh my soul I drove to Stutzman's Greenhouse this week. Just walking into the building filled with sunlight and moisture I began to breath easier, and the gray feeling that hung around my neck seem to dissipate like fog lifting off my shoulders. I stopped in awe as my eyes gazed at the Poinsettia tree.
It's funny how the mind slips backwards in time. Suddenly, I was transported to Nashville and a Christmas scene of giant poinsettia trees filling the lobbies in the Gaylord Family Hotel at the Grand Ole' Opry. That was the first time I'd seen the red flowers placed in such a glorious formation. Then just like a time traveler my mind swept me back to my thirteenth birthday in Southern California. I awoke that morning after Christmas (1960) to sunshine and warmth, having left the winter of Oklahoma far behind. My sister and I immediately explored our motel, a series of small quaint stucco cottages lined with flowers, ferns, and an unusual tall green plant with the top leaves of brilliant red. Since my father knew everything I asked him what kind of plant it could be. "It's a poinsettia plant, Tizzy. They grow naturally around here," he replied. I really didn't believe him, since I'd only seen poinsettias in church at Christmas, but a few days later they were growing near the entrance to a Mexican restaurant and my mother asked the owners about the plant. When they replied, "a Poinsettia" I smiled. I knew then, that my dad was the smartest man in the world.
In a moment I found myself on the concrete floor and surrounded by flowers. Quietly, I walked around the green house that day sniffing, touching, gazing on shades of reds, greens, pinks, and whites. Then I walked to my year round favorite corner that is shaded by a blooming bougainvillea tree. So much comfort can be found in something so simple as nature's beauty. That day, that moment under the blooms I felt enveloped by love and life, and most thankful for the opportunity to be with God. I knew why I was there. My wish is for everyone to be enveloped by love during this blessed season of the year, and everyday to come. Merry Christmas.