'I hate this time of the year,' she said.
I was surprised to hear that from her. Her smile is a welcome we all would love to see at the beginning and end of the day. She's happy. She usually finds hope in the hopeless. So, hearing this today set me back. I connect with people like her and depend on them to get me through. I call them 'spiritual light-houses,' small beacons of light on my journey. I hoped this was just a bump in the road for her. People who are optimistic and positive have bad days too.
'What's wrong?' I asked.
She wouldn't look at me. She knew why I was asking this. She heard what I was hearing beyond the words spoken.
'I walked into my garden and everything was dying,' she replied.
'What's in your garden?' I asked.
'Flowers. Beautiful, fragrant flowers.'
'For the most part.'
'Who is responsible for their dying?'
She was quiet for a moment and then turning toward me said, 'I took very good care of them.'
'I'm sure you did. So, who's responsible?'
She didn't answer.
'It is the same source that gave them life and the promise of rebirth. The life that is there in dying. It is our charge, therefore to see the life in every death. The annuals are like the things of the world. They are here and gone. But we are God's perennials. What is given to us is more valuable than what we take. Your caring for the garden is an example of how we should live. If you want to see love, give it. If you want to see hope, give hope. If you want to see life, give life,' I said.
I saw my friend today. She was smiling. On her desk, in a vase, was the last rose of summer.
When she looked at me I said, 'plant annually, believe perennially.'