It was our wedding anniversary. I can’t tell you which one because of the wife. She’s as sensitive to chronological dates as your bank is to your social security number. I think it was 36 or maybe 63 or 93, who knows? When the years are happy, they fly past as quickly as a bird on the wing with a delicious worm in his beak. The wife worries that some hacker will invade our personal database and capture this elusive number. And of course there are presents – gifts you’ve wanted all your life. A new broom to sweep the driveway. A pair of brown socks to match the brown suit that disintegrated ten years ago, a package of M&Ms. Typical gifts. Except for one. I have a lovely daughter-in-law who every year gives me the same gift and it’s welcomed as Springtime every year. No dead things like socks or ties or belts (I consider socks the black holes of gifts.)
She gives us a living amaryllis – a fascinating plant that colors up an empty, but sunny window, seeking the sun. A long stalk then a fat bud that can burst like the sunrise over a mountain range into 1, 2, or 3 explosions of color. Of course you have to turn it to keep the stalk straight since it leans to the sun. I imagine if I’m sitting in the kitchen, she turns to ME. Could it be? She has a mind of her own. Me and this beautiful flower – an interspecies affair. And she’s much younger than my wife, whose age I can’t reveal to you. The flower is two months old.
So, every year we watch for the green tip to appear above the bulb. That means that some undefinable force within pushes this green shoot into a stalk and then into blossoms. Fools call it nature – religious folks call it G-d. Others call it magic.
We watch and bet on our blessings. How many blossoms will we get on its slender stalks? We sometimes structure our investment on this mystic symbol from the land of plants. Three blossoms and we go all out – stocks, bonds, and a bet on the Alabama/Auburn game: two blossoms – a moderate cluster of CDs. If only one we put our money in the bank and plan on bologna sandwiches for supper. And She’s much cheaper than an investment advisor.
But one bud or three, the sun transforms this unattractive, brown bud into beauty that makes us understand the power of nature, if that’s what you all it. Sunrise in the window obeying God’s law as faithfully as any of His human subjects.
The humor of ted, the Scribbler on the roof, appears in newspapers around the US, on National Public Radio, and numerous web sites.