Happening across the unexpected always stops me in my tracks. It feels like a message from the Lords and Ladies of Creation, as my spiritual teacher used to put it. Open your eyes! Look what’s here! Life is precious! One of those surprises happens each January when I enter the garden to find the yellow jonquils, which I am pretty certain that I did not plant, popping into bloom.
I suspect one of my daughters-in-law, Lisa, or my friend Elizabeth, but neither is fessing up. This makes it all the more mysterious. I question myself! Did I planted those bulbs some years ago, and forget?
But this is not the only spot in which bulbs push jonquils and daffodils and paper whites. We have some kind of a Johnny Appleseed planter at work here! Clumps of paper whites display delicate white flowers at the kitchen door each Christmas and a small clump of daffodils bloom just inside the vineyard gate shortly thereafter. I would never think of planting in that spot.
There is a story of Johnny Appleseed bulb planter in our valley. Each spring Douglas Iris push their purple tufts of petals along the forest edge. It’s been said that a pioneer woman planted these in the valley, and that they naturalized. As my grandson Wesley says, this may be only a legend.
Yet each year, coming upon the gift of these late winter and early spring flowers— including the Douglas iris— makes me smile! I wonder again: who did this? It reminds me of how the mystery of annonmous gifts of nature opens the heart and stimulates something far beyond the immediate.