Sometimes my granddaughter of now nearly eight months will help me water the flowers on our porch.
It gives me yet another reason to hold her.
Occasionally she’ll accompany me to get the mail but mostly it’s the flowers.
Sometimes we’ll use the sprinkling can since that takes longer and gives us a chance to talk.
She doesn’t say much, nothing that I can understand anyway, and maybe she doesn’t understand me either, but I know we both enjoy these chats.
I’ll even sing to her. And I don’t sing. Can’t seem to be on key. My wife can sing and that’s very helpful in church to be able to hear what the note should be, and I’ll try to match.
But I don’t think my granddaughter cares.
She’ll turn from the flowers and look with those dark eyes into my own. She’ll just stare.
Then I’ll finish the little song and she’ll turn back to the flowers.
And then it’ll be time to move on.
To the next set of blossoms we’ll go since, as I’ll point out to her, the water has begun seeping out of the bottom of the pot.
Sometimes I’ll place her bare foot in the expanding puddle to show her that it’s time to move on.
But first we’ll pick the petals that have died from off the stems to allow for new growth.
She’ll help too but, at seven months, she has trouble distinguishing between new growth and that which isn’t.
I asked her the other day if she noticed something about the flowers. She didn’t I’m sure, but I pointed it out anyway.
They were reaching. All of them. The blossoms were reaching for the light. From under the early morning shadows of the porch they were reaching, stretching, awakening to the sunrise announcing we’d moved on to a new day.
It is said that for flowers – and I think for grandchildren too – that for best results early mornings are the optimum opportunity for nourishment. As the day wears on the heat will come stressing that in which you delight so much to see grow, and blossom.
What beauty there is in holding her. Singing, smiling, any excuse at all.
Like watering the flowers.
And then she’ll move on.