I LOVE MORNINGS like this, which begin with simple surprises.
When I pull the shade on my south bedroom window, my eyes linger on a patch of yellow that wasn’t there yesterday. I grab my glasses and see that an iris is blooming.
Later, after I’ve hung my first load of laundry on the clothesline, I stroll over to the backyard flowerbed, to that spot of yellow, and admire the arching petals and the lavender beards that define this plant.
On my way back toward the house, I sidestep a hint of purple, a tiny wild violet peeking through the blades of grass.
Back inside, I settle in at my computer, open my e-mail and find an uplifting note from my friend Virgil. He’s caught up on my blog posts, he says, and adds, “fun reading the articles and I like the flower pictures!”
Virgil, like me, appreciates flowers. He’s a retired science teacher and a grower of Asiatic lilies and gladioli. I’ve, more than once, been the happy recipient of his floral bouquets.
I also open two forwards (typically I don’t open forwards) from Virgil—one a humorous piece about the English language and the other an inspirational story about a pro-golfer who, unlike Tiger Woods, is devoted to his cancer-stricken wife.
And then, as I’m still smiling at my friend’s messages, my teenage son gallops down the stairs. “Mom, can I have a hug?” he asks, already extending his gangly arms toward me. I nearly leap from my office chair, stretching my arms heavenward to embrace this growing child of mine.
As I wrap my arms around my 16-year-old, I relish the moment. He does not always welcome my hugs. But now, for this moment, this morning, I hold him close. I feel his body, still warm from the blankets that cocooned him through the night. I place a gentle mother’s kiss upon his cheek.
Then, before he leaves for school, my boy hugs me again, twice. I plant another kiss upon his left cheek. He slides his hand up, as he always does, and swipes his palm across his cheek, wiping away my kiss.
“I love you,” I say.
He turns, without a word. The door slams shut behind him.
© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling