Isn’t it a miracle how a drab stucco wall can blossom
into a shimmering curtain of colour,
a vibrant, undulating tapestry ,
to tantalize the eye and nourish the heart.
A fragrant flowered memory ,
each petal a marvel of symmetry,
beguilingly crafted, honed precisely to create a flawless sculpture,
a harmony of arcs, shadow and pastel perfection.
How can such happiness grow out of bare brown dirt?
In hope round wrinkled seeds soaked, saturated and lovingly sown,
deluged by spring downpours, pummelled by gales force
bent but not broken,
tender shoots grasping thin life lines,
matured under searing sun into stedfast stems.
It was more than the seed,
the hope, the promise,
More than the careful toil
to weed and trellis,
More than sun and soil
surviving frost or tempest
Clinging faithfully, willfully, lastingly, lovingly intertwined
sheltering and supporting,
growing steadily, surely,
envisioning the fruition of the climb.
not a solitary bloom but a chorus,
borne not by happenstance,
but a miracle nonetheless.
This is happiness.
This poem takes me back almost four decades to a California spring day and a wall of sweet peas growing against the new stucco of our renovated home. They had survived an unseasonal frost and gale force Santa Ana winds, but were as luxuriant as ever. I wish I could say that over the decades I have always been able to weather life's vicissitudes with such grace. But that is still the goal, not the reality.