I have a flower bed just devoted to peonies. Just think, that flower bed sits for 51 weeks of the year in preparation or recovery for one week of marvelous beauty. It makes me laugh to think how addicted to productivity and getting a run for our money we are when God creates flowers that spend 98% of the year in quietness and only 2% of the year in visible productivity.
I visit the cut peonies all throughout the day, resisting the urge to cup their gentle petals in my hands like the face of the cutest toddler. I don't know exactly what it is about the peonies but their magic keeps me spell-bound for a week.
I planted my row of peonies about 8 years ago. My sister, Emily, and I did it together because back then she lived with us. We dreamed, and I even prayed, that maybe we'd use these peonies in her wedding, if only God would send her a boyfriend! The peonies grew and Emily found a boyfriend but their eventual wedding was not during the week of peonies -- it was an October wedding. But who knew that some years later Emily's first child, a daughter, would be born during the week of peonies?! How special is that? She came at the tail end of the season, but our season was early this year and next year her birthday will be smack in the middle of our celebration of beauty. Baby Olivia got the very last peonies that came off the bushes. It couldn't be more fitting!
I cleared out nearly all my vases today, hating the task of throwing the nearly dried flowers into the trash and thinking how long it will be until I pick more. I'll just need to find some other expressions of beauty to enjoy in the mean time and maybe watching Olivia grow over the next year will divert my attention just a bit.