For more than a year, I cared for the plant, and since one flowering season passed without any action, I never realistically expected to have it bear flowers.Last week, while watering the plant, thought I saw what could have passed for a tiny bud. The next day it had grown in size, and on the third day, it was a full-fledged bud.
On Thursday morning, it showed all signs of opening up pretty soon, and by evening, there was a beautiful red lily flower.
So beautiful was it, and so unexpected, that ruling against my instincts, I brought it indoors – after all, my younger son was now a mature three and a half year old, he now knows better than to pluck flowers!
The kids went berserk seeing the flower – they had never seen anything as big, as red and as shiny in a pot in their living room. The younger one smelt it, the older one took photographs of it, I was happy I had brought the plant indoors so we could enjoy it.
There was another bud too – I wondered if it would open out before the first one wilted away.
“Mamma, that pretty flower. Now it is many pretty flowers”, lisped the younger one, thumb firmly in his mouth. I had no idea what he was talking about, but since he seemed really excited about it, I left what I was doing and went to see.
He had reduced the flower and the bud to shreds. There was nothing left on the plant except the shiny green leaves, not even the promise of another bud, much less another flower.
To say I was devastated would perhaps start to describe how I felt. More than anything else, it was the randomness of the destruction that got to me. When you nurture something for months, without any expectations, then have it cut short in the first flush of youth – few things are more distressing than that.
All weekend, I mourned the loss of the flower and the bud. And then I realized that it was not as tragic as I made it out to be. The flower had bloomed. It had been appreciated. It had brought a new dimension of beauty into our lives. Maybe being cut short in its prime was better than seeing the flower whither and die?