Tuesday, December 7, 2010

my best laid plans slipped right through my hands

this is a post about good intentions thwarted. about how sometimes, no matter how methodical and planned are the events that shape our lives, chaos can sneak in. disappointment and heartache can rear their ugly heads. but sometimes--just sometimes--our plans can change for the better, opening us up to new ideas and experiences that our carefully-penciled-in-life might have missed.

i bought my pansies on veteran's day.

on that cool november afternoon, i packed pablo in the car and took myself to wal-mart, perusing the greenhouse-guarded plants with care. i wanted a hearty, strong flower, one that was accustomed to, and thrived in, the cold. i remembered mama telling me that pansies were one of the only flowers that could withstand cold temperatures. i thought to myself, hmm. that's a bit ironic, given their name.

so i picked out the largest bucket of pansies available, being sure to select the one that still had many unopened buds, so i could watch it bloom. when i got home, i divided the bucket into two little pots to hang from the lamp post outside our cottage. and i loved them.

call me crazy, but i get so much enjoyment out of taking care of flowers. i think it stems from my nurturing side, but every morning, i would get up and drag my sleepy self into the cold of the sunrise. watering pail in hand, i would gently soak their soil, excited about seeing their little blooms perked up in the daylight when i got home from work. and they always were.

but yesterday morning, my good intentions were the cause of a very bad situation. like any other morning, i watered the flowers, then headed off to work.

i came home excited as usual, certain the buds would be stretched toward the sun. but they were not.

they were hanging down, dried and shriveled. i ran out of my car and pressed my fingertip to the soil. hard as a brick. how could this have happened? i wondered. i watered them just this morning.

then i looked down. the water had turned to ice and had essentially frozen the roots of the flowers. it had all but killed them.

i quickly took the flowers off the post and brought them into my warm cottage. oil heat is expensive, but there's nothing quite like flushed wooden floorboards on chilly feet.

i placed them in front of my fireplace and let them thaw overnight. i wish i could tell you that this morning, they were back to normal and perky as ever. but they weren't. they're getting there. the heaviest buds are still drooped over, but the smaller ones have returned to their upright positions and have started opening up again. the ice melted and served as water for them.

sometimes you can't plan life. God taught me this in the form of little butter yellow and black pansies. sometimes it hands you a curveball and it's all you can do to keep your head above water. sometimes what we think is best for our life can choke it--or worse, freeze it in place.

so i'm learning. to be open to change, even though it's probably the one thing i hate more than anything else in this world. to let the natural ebb and flow of my days be a bit more sporatic. and to give it time. to let the ice that sometimes hardens over my life melt. and give way to nourishing water. time heals. people change. and life is unpredictable.

perhaps that's why it's also so gosh-darn beautiful.


Peaches said...

"...to let the natural ebb and flow of my days be a bit more unpredictable. and to give it time. to let the ice that sometimes hardens over my life melt. and give way to nourishing water. time heals. people change. and life is unpredictable."

Friend, you are speaking directly to my heart these days. Thank you!

Laura Marie said...

Loooove this post... I'm all about those life lessons that come to us in the smallest of ways. Well said, friend!

Hope you're having a good start to your week! :)
xo Laura Marie

Jude said...

I could not possibly agree with you more, and how special that the lesson came with beautiful delicate flowers! Life holds many surprises - this year alone there has been illness and death and a transatlantic semi-relocation in mine. And the thing that struck me most is even in the middle of curveball country, there is also always beauty. And love. And laughter. Thank you for this beautiful post, dear!

Ana* said...

I can relate with every word. Change scares me to the 2nd power but I have been learning that beauty and self growth come with change and life surprises. Just like you said, that's what makes life precious.

oh, and, thought I had remind you: I can't get enough of your posts!



lindsay said...

it is amazing how something so simple can really change our thoughts and help us realize some good life lessons! this is again another beautiful post. my eyes open up more and more with every lesson that you share with us! i appreciate that so much about you!!


Haley K said...

beautifully said Courtney :) what a thoughtful post... *sigh* It's hard to understand why things don't work out how we plan (even after hard, devoted work). But that's where we have a chance to pick up the pieces, mend them, and prove ourselves :) heal, and grow again. just like your pansies :)

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Great post- there certainly is beauty in all the little things!

Kristin Hjellegjerde said...

I think one of the most exciting parts of life is how to turn a disappointment into an adventure and an advantage!

Have a great evening!

Sarah Nicole said...

Love this! This is really inspiring and well written!

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Amber Blue Bird said...

beautiful post once again. I need to learn to let things flow and not be so concerned with an agenda.

Rebekka Seale said...

I just adore your blog header. Laundry stretched out on a line is so romantic. Love, love, lovely.


e.day said...

so true. i am a planner by nature, while JJ says let's play things by ear! life always has other plans for you, no matter how you plan it out. it can be scary sometimes to think about, but i think sometimes it can be exciting how different your life will end up. if you are open to change, i think life can end up throwing you things far more exciting than you ever dared to dream.

i love reading your posts, truly. they always make reflect on my own life :)

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Oh I hope they return to their full vitality soon. Side note: When I first read this, I thought you said you bought panties...which totally changes the story.

kirst said...

hey! love that ive found you through your comment on my blog - so now im following you too! thanks for visiting. i never even considered the iv significance in the poem, that is super cool! look forward to reading more from you xo
merry christmas

Thisisme said...

Another beautiful post. How do you do it, time after time?! Hope those poor little pansies thrive again soon. There's a moral in there somewhere!

mskanorado said...

I hope your pansies are back and healthy very soon! :) Its hard to let change just happen, accepting all that it comes with ... including the uncertainty and having and little faith that all will be well!

Erica said...

Oh I hope they heal their blessed lil' buds! They are so beautiful!

Also, I cracked up when you mentioned the irony of their name.

Blondie's Journal said...

We all have to adjust to the unpredictability of life. It's just knowing when.



threesmallapples said...

I feel your pain!! Ice has killed my window box too :(



Becca said...

Awww. Poor babies.

But I like your whole thought process with this!
It's so wonderful that you took the sad little story and learned something and told us what you learned- like making lemonade, I suppose.
Thanks girlie!

Signe said...

poor flowers, hope they will recover from the shock :)


the real mia said...

those are the sweetest dearest cutest yellow pansies ever!

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