Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Blooming Mystery

My laptop is shoved into its usual spot on the kitchen table amidst the messy stuff of business papers and bills. Peering over the top of its screen, a magenta orchid with thirteen pristine blossoms on a tall stem (and one withering comrade) command my attention.

"Oh my god," she thinks to herself in shock and awe. Michael bought me those orchids from Trader Joes right after he came back from Paris in mid-May.

Michael, the flesh and blood husband whose earthly remains sit in a brown velvet bag on my entry hall table and in other secret places. Michael, the ethereal being that has begun to take shape in my waking moments, gently surrounding me with his presence.

How can it be that this perky orchid in a corny gray and black striped pot has not only outlived him but still thrives? It looks as fresh, perhaps even more robust, than the day he brought it home, balanced between his forearm and cloth tote bags filled with Trades Joes salads and lettuceware. 

He went to that infamous market every Wednesday and Saturday, not only to restock the provisions but also to pick up flowers - a habit he developed when I was sick with cancer and my sister commanded him to keep fresh flowers in the house at all times.

Thus the orchids.

With no explanation, I simply gaze at the magenta speckled blooms and know that whatever grace has kept them alive, this last earthly gift from my beloved will eventually fade away.

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