Sunday, April 10, 2011


Remember the old saying, "Bloom where you are planted?" Right now, I'm thinking of something that's the exact opposite. Some twenty years ago or so, our local 4-H club was selling flower bulbs for a fundraiser, so of course I bought some to help out. Among the bulbs was a bag of tiny ones called Siberian Squills, which I popped into my flower bed along the stone wall and promptly forgot about.

Now, after all these years, the squills are still blooming beautifully beside the wall. But they've also become scattered throughout the side yard of the house and are rapidly advancing toward the front, as well! On these gray early April days, I can't tell you the joy I feel when I glance out and see the lovely little patches of bright blue here and there throughout the yard. They're a reminder that in spite of the gloomy wet days we've been having, spring really is coming!

The wandering squills link up with something else that happened to me recently, in that odd way that the writer's mind connects things. Recently I happened to exchange e-mails with a writer friend I seldom see except occasionally at a statewide writers' event. And she thanked me for an encouraging word I'd spoken to her many years ago, saying how much it meant to her. I didn't remember, to be honest. But something I'd said that day and as quickly forgotten had been just the word she needed to hear at that particular moment.

I can't help but believe, when something like this happens, that it's a little piece of God's plan. A casual word took root and grew for another person, spreading encouragement like the tiny blossoms of the squills. It humbles me, but in a way it frightens me, too. What about the words I haven't spoken? What about the fleeting impulses to extend sympathy or trust or encouragement that I didn't act upon?

So maybe this is about blooming where you're planted after all. Each day, there's surely a chance for each of us to say a kind word to someone. Isn't there? It's not important to know the result of that word. It's enough to do it.