Tag Archives: kind of a beautiful day

in which I watch a moonflower bloom

Since probably forever, my mother has had a knack for finding weird random adventures for our family. The latest in a long line of shenanigans came a few Fridays ago, when she packed my father and I1 into Emerson Cod, our green Subaru2, and we drove to see the moonflower.

My mother heard about the moonflower from her coworker at the LDS Conference Center Gardens3. A woman in Sandy, Utah, grows and obsesses over these flowers, and she invites anyone and everyone to come over to her house and watch them.  She even provides a bench. It’s a little bit weird, sitting in a stranger’s yard on a bench facing a blank wall, staring at her flowerbeds.

So let me explain, lest you think us mad4: the lifespan of the moonflower is a single night. It blooms only once, in the moonlight, remains open for that night, and then, when the sun rises, it dies. And the most amazing thing is that when it blooms in the moonlight, it goes from a tightly closed bud to wide-open flower in less than thirty seconds.

This is a moonflower. Not the moonflower we saw. It belongs to someone on the internet.

Moonflowers are the most amazing flower I have ever seen, and with a horticulture-enthusiast mother like mine, I’ve seen a lot of amazing flowers. It’s like watching one of those sped-up National Geographic movies of trees growing—it seems too cool to be real. Even after I watched forty of them go from tight-fisted buds to open palms of petals in seconds, as we walked back to the car, I started doubting whether or not I had actually seen it. It was that remarkable.

I was also overwhelmed by the poignancy of the whole affair. The flowers only live for one night. How utterly heartbreaking. But how lovely, that the moonflowers are so excited to live and experience ever second possible of their one night of life that they open so quickly. At least, that’s how I like to think of it. They open quickly because they don’t want to waste a second of their lives.

I read so much fantasy that sometimes I forget how the real world astounds me. Even in my own backyard, the territory I grew up in for eighteen years, there are things I have not seen, things I did not even know existed like flowers that bloom in fragile moonlight before your eyes. I have been pining for Boston lately, but the moonflowers were a gentle reminder that beauty and happiness can be found anywhere. Life is not about where you’re living, but how you’re living when you’re there5.

 

  1. The MT was missing in action
  2. Latest in a long line of Subarus
  3. It’s very weird that both my mother and I are working at Temple Square right now. If you had asked me a year ago who the two people in my life least likely to be working at Temple Square were, I would have answered me and my mom.
  4. The jury’s still out on it.
  5. And on that Hallmark card of a note, expect sometime in the near future to see a book from me with moonflowers making an appearance somewhere in it. It’s too magical to ignore.
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in which I meet the comfort dogs

Today I felt good.

Like actually good for the first time all week. Usually my happiness level on a scale of one to ten is about a seven, but ever since Monday, for pretty justifiable reasons, I’ve been sort of a four.

But then today, things got better.

The first reason for this was because of the Comfort Dogs.

The Comfort Dogs are a group of five golden retrievers that are trained to give emotional support to people who need it. Basically they just sit there, so calm you’d think they were sedated, and let you love them and pour all your emotional baggage into them. These dogs came down from their usual job at Sandy Hook Elementary to give their love to the city of Boston.

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I sat on the pavement outside the First Lutheran Church with the dogs for about an hour, talking to other people who were feeling down and needed a lift via these canine companions. And it felt good. It made me happy, both the people and the dogs. Dogs always make me happy, but these guys were particularly helpful to me at this time1.

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After leaving the Comfort Dogs2, I walked around the Public Garden. It was kind of a beautiful day today, and I thought it would be nice to walk through on my way to school.

When I walked into the Public Garden, the first thing I saw was this beautiful view of the Boston skyline, brownstones surrounding skyscrapers and the gold dome of the statehouse shining in the sun. Then there was the pond, with the swan boats gliding serenely across it and the weeping willows waving in the breeze. The trees were blooming pink, people were everywhere, happy and laughing, and George Washington was sitting atop his horse, watching over it all3. And the new-blooming flowerbeds were lined with messages from people to each other. From Boston to Boston, messages of peace and love and support.

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And it was all so beautiful, it was overwhelming. I just stood there and cried behind my sunglasses for a minute4. And this song I learned in Primary kept running through my head—“I Think the World is Glorious.”

Really terrible things happened this week, but out of it has come so many beautiful things, and so many examples of how wonderful, wonderful people really can be. Light drives out the darkness, bad brings out the best in us, and life always finds a way to continue doing the only thing it can: living.

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And no matter what happens, I think the world is glorious, and nothing can ever make me believe that that’s a lie.

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  1. Also, the dogs all have their own facebook and twitters. Which makes the social media geek in me really happy.
  2. Also the name of the gourmet hot dog truck I am someday going to start.
  3. He’s a statue. In case that wasn’t clear.
  4. It should be noted I am not an emotional person. It was just a moment of transitory peace in the midst of a turbulent week.
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