Thursday, October 7, 2010

Magic- Lessons from Plants

I have this plant on my porch.  Its a desert succulent called a Night Blooming Cereus.  I've written about it before, but typically this plant has one bloom a year.  Each flower lasts for only one night.  It opens after darkness falls, and the bloom is dead with the rising sun.

For those few hours while the bloom is open it sends the sweetest aroma wafting through the air.  You can't stick your nose in the bloom and drink in the smell like a rose, you have to sit 5-20 feet away and slowly breathe.  The rewards amazing!  This smell is not to be bottled, not to be sold, but savored and enjoyed as you take a few moments break.

In the summers of my youth, my dad would sometimes wake my brother and I late at night so that we could experience a moment of this flower's brief life.  He told us that the night that the plant blooms is an auspicious one and given its fleeting nature, we should make a wish.  Some kids wished upon a shooting star or a fallen penny, but I wished upon a flower who would only grace the world for a precious short time.

Therefore, I always feel a special sense of something: nostalgia, hope, dreams on the night that the plant blooms.  I've been known to cancel plans to just sit on the porch and drink in the aroma.  I feel cheated when I miss the flower.

Some years, crazy weather patterns will allow the plant to bloom twice.  Then it is that much more special, that much rarer.  When I came home from work this morning after an exhausting, trying night, I immediately smelled it.  The plant had bloomed!

I poured my coffee and sat on my porch and took in aroma and felt that sense of hope and peace.  I pray that the second bloom of the Night Blooming Cereus grant us all good luck and fortune!