In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symbol.”
Something white caught my eye when I walked past my neighbor Ollie’s flowerbed this morning. Something that, as beautiful as it was, felt out of place.
I had never seen an Easter lily growing outdoors before, nor had I ever seen one blooming in July. Yet there it was, a glorious, serendipitous surprise.
Symbolically speaking, the Easter lily is identified with beauty, purity, hope, and new life. But first and foremost, it represents resurrection.
I was curious about those flowers, so I tracked down Ollie. She was happy to tell me the story of their — well — resurrection.
After Easter of 2014, Ollie brought two unclaimed plants home from her church. When they had finished blooming, she cut off the dead blossoms and put them aside. She planted them in her flowerbed after the weather warmed up.
The lilies showed no signs of life last summer. Nor did they come up this spring when her other perennials did. She had nearly forgotten them until they made a late appearance last month. They grew, budded, and showed some promise. But they didn’t raise big expectations until the blooms began opening a few days ago.
I came home, still musing over these resurrection flowers. Then a quick online search came up with another instance of symbolism. The lilies we enjoy at Easter time are artificially forced to bloom early to coincide with the holiday. Left to their own timetable, they mature in June or July.
Is it possible, I’m wondering, that some of us could be like flowers forced to bloom at an unnatural time? How much more fully might we blossom if allowed to mature at our own, natural time?