This bouquet of Calla Lilies all started with one little seed when I was thirteen. I was one of those kids who was always trying something new. When my mamma’s seed catalogues came in the mail at the end of winter, I’d pour over them, looking at all the beautiful flowers and marking the ones that caught my fancy. Finally I would narrow my list down to what I liked the very best.
It wouldn’t have been surprising if my mom would’ve rolled her eyes and wondered at me sometimes, since I was determined to try things that wouldn’t work. Sweet Peas don’t grow in heat, but I thought they might. No luck. I also learned there’s a reason you buy Freesias from a florist. But you know, I don’t remember my mamma ever discouraging me in any way.
I planted the Calla Lily seeds and they came up thin and spindly like grass. I transplanted them into our vegetable garden and they slowly turned yellow and died off. Except for one. This one struggled along and finally grew a tiny bulb that I dug in the fall. (And I do mean tiny!) I potted it the next year and it fought to live, growing in that orange clay pot for a few years, withering when autumns came and then miraculously sprouting again in the springs. Finally I planted the bulb, still small, in a flowerbed and left it there to weather all the seasons on its own. Twelve years after I’d planted that seed a lot of things had changed. I was moved away, married, and had my own grown-up flower beds. My mamma asked me on the phone one day if I still wanted that Calla Lily since it was mine. I said sure.
So I planted the bulb that was bigger now than it ever was when I was “growing” it. And it thrived! And spread. And dropped seeds that grew into fine bulbs themselves. I gave a bag of the extra bulbs to my sister-in-law, Johanna, who planted them in her rose garden. Here they are, flourishing!
All these from one little seed and one little girl, full of crazy ideas.
Looking back, neither of my parents were really eye-rollers. They let us try… and fail. And sometimes succeed. They didn’t interfere with the projects and things my brothers and I tried. They supported us whether our ideas worked out or not. I think I need to develop these qualities in my own life with my own girls.
Now that I’m a mother, I know that this isn’t the easiest thing to do! Kids trying things makes work. Work for me, messes for me. My own selfishness comes into play way too often.
I want my girls to learn to try,
to learn to fail,
and to learn to succeed.
I want to allow my girls to plant seeds.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable,
gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits,
unwavering, without hypocrisy. James 3:17