As a heaven-sent follow-up to my last week’s post on how spring has sprung here in central Florida, I witnessed a super cool scene yesterday that’ll resonate in my memory as a unique-moment snapshot for years to come.
It happened as I was driving along a main thoroughfare – in a hurry as usual – lost in thought about all the errands ahead of me and the limited time in which to err them.
A herd of middle-school aged kids were frantically pedaling their bikes on the sidewalk parallel to me, presumably heading to the school that was just up the road a piece. A quick glance at my watch resulted in a tut-tut-shake of my head – they were gonna be cutting it close to beat the first bell.
Then as I passed a recessed garden between houses that was bursting with vibrant spring colors and heady aromas, something interesting caught my eye. There, a good fifteen yards off the beaten path, a young teen gal – probably 13 or 14 – had detoured from her tribe’s persuasion and pulled her bike over beneath the most enormous Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant I’d ever seen. She was standing astride her bicycle, gently immersed in the branches. This tremendous specimen was no longer merely in the bush category like mine at home, but instead a full-blown tree, with long reaching branches absolutely dripping with gorgeous purple, lavender, and white blooms (hence the name as the bright purple blooms fade day by day: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow).
This young woman’s head and most of her backpack were immersed in the cascade of heavenly blossoms and her arms were extended upward, reaching for more, more, more of this incredible display of beauty. To the passerby (me), in this posture she appeared to be worshipping her Creator in the awe-inspiring, all encompassing, massive blessing of His creation.
My heart suddenly flooded to overflowing with gratitude to my Creator too, zero to 100 mph.
Maybe she really was. Worshipping. I like to think she was. I know I certainly was after I witnessed her tenderly caressing and totally enjoying the mass of fragrant blooms covering her hair, face, and shoulders.
I glimpsed her in a double-take flash as I drove by, no more than 5 seconds for blazing this mental snapshot of someone else’s life into my brain, so there was no time to whip out my camera for a real photo. On your right, I tried to reenact the scene on my neighbor’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, which is twice as large as my little chest-high model but not half as enormous as the one the teen gal was enjoying with unfettered wonder. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really get my head inside the limbs as she had done.
Sadly, I couldn’t quite capture the same majesty, the awe, the heart-melting sweetness exuded in the pure joy of the original event.
But you get it, don’t you?
This gutsy gal left her mainstream pack and intentionally detoured – even when she [no doubt] couldn’t afford to miss the bell any more than the rest of them – to revel in the fragrant blossoms and receive the soul-blessing just waiting there for the taking. None of the others would. Or did. They probably didn’t even see the potentiality of the blessing. Because they were so intent on keeping to their schedules and appointments and duties.
Just like you. Just like me. Sigh.
So I’m hereby deciding to make the time today to stop every time I see a wonderous delight of spring and smell the blossoms. Even if I’m late for school and the bell rings without me.
Will you join me? Even if spring hasn’t yet sprung through your snow and ice, the principle remains: will you pause momentarily to praise your Creator for some delightful unexpected blessing today?
Hugs to you, dearest BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever)!
Cindy Pacleb says
Thank you for that lovely story. My parents had that plant in the backyard as I was growing up. It is not a plant that is common as far as I know in Southern California. I was thrilled when I saw a small plant in a nursery a few years ago. I snatched it up. I love the name and the beauty of the plant. Mine is still on the small side. I believe it was popular in the Victorian times which makes me happy to think about,
Really, Cindy? I don’t know much about the history of Y,T & T plants, but it does cast a different light to think they were around and adored back in Victorian times. They’re slow growers (at least my two are) so I imagine this huge one the girl was standing under must be quite old.
Cindy Pacleb says
Hi. I couldn’t find the original information from my research years ago. I did find that Y.T &T has been described since 1846. It also won a prestigious award in Britain in 1922. I did not know that they could grow so large! My parents must have cut theirs back because it was a modest size even though at least 50 years old. Mine grows slowly too. Knowing this is normal I will enjoy the process. 🙂
My two Y,T & T plants are in 70% shade/30% sun (because that’s all I have in my yard) so I figured that’s why they stay relatively small year after year. The biggest ones I’ve seen (the large one in the blog post that’s in my neighbor’s yard and the enormous one in the story that’s not pictured) are in full sun. And in Florida, which means a LOT of sun and very hot sun to boot. I suppose that would make a difference. My two also seem to naturally prune themselves annually by losing a limb or two, or even the whole top layer as one did this year. Pieces just die for no apparent reason. But then a better gardener than I might be able to spot a problem I don’t. My thumb is just this side of brown.
Wow!!!! Thank God every day/night for His beautiful creations, the amazing sunsets, (still sleeping to see the sunrises lol), the flowers that close at night, but open in the daytime! Our Creator is so amazing! Father God is Beyond Awesome!!!! Hallelujah!!!!
I love sunsets too, Julie, but our current house is surrounded by towering oak trees so we rarely see them. I’m an obsessive early riser though, so I do get to see my share of inspiring orange sunrises blazing across the horizon. I echo your sentiments, dear friend: Our Creator is so amazing!
I have been enjoying all of God’s little birds who have been busy this spring visiting our backyard, as well. God’s creations are so amazingly beautiful! Thankful that Spring has sprung in Florida!
I know you love your birdie buddies, Sandi! Papa God certainly blessed you with that terrific backyard view that allows you to enjoy them so closely. Hugs!
Yes I will join you. Want an awesome story of praises our creator.
Thank you so much for sharing ..
Hugs to you, dearest BBFF
And a BIG old hug back to you, sweet Carol!
Carolyn O'Brien says
Thank you for sharing this story! Such a good reminder to us. I just told my husband yesterday that I am so glad we have blooming plants in our backyard as it makes me happy when I look at them. I agree with your friend that the birds, including a large hawk have been more active recently. The hawk is usually silent but yesterday he was making a lot of noise. It was funny to see how the squirrels in and under our oak tree recognized the sound an totally froze until the hawk flew out of the tree.
I have an ongoing battle with a battalion of hawks ransacking my yard for all the baby birds and squirrels that consider my abode their own. I have somehow taken on the role of their protector. I might have been known to run screaming into the yard banging kitchen pots with a metal spoon a time or two. 🙁 Doesn’t do any good – those darn carnivores won’t let go of their prey no matter what I do. I admire hawks – and all Papa God’s creatures – but not at the expense of my helpless babies.