Saturday, July 11, 2015

Day Lilies

Out of sorrow comes beauty.

That's what I was reminded of today.  Mom and J and I went to Hickory Haven Daylily Farm this morning for their annual lily sale.  The owner, Anna, goes to Mom's church.

One of the many lily plots,
Anna's husband Steve cultivated the lilies in the garden for 35 years, developing many new kinds.  In March, he passed away from liver cancer.

If I remember right, this bloom is about 7-8 inches across, with multiple buds on each stem.
Yet, Steve's presence was everywhere amongst the flowers.  

Like this little guy, just hanging out.
His wife greeted everyone who came.  His sons and nephews and nieces dug up and cleaned the lilies as people waited in the gorgeous gardens scattered around the house and grounds.  Two golden retrievers also welcomed everyone and went from person to person, spreading the love.

And his flowers scented the picture-perfect summer day.

Lilies, everywhere. 
I bet there were over 300 different types of lilies, most in bloom.  Just a riot of color, accented by a veggie garden, multiple perennial plots, big maples and oaks, and a cornfield in the background.

Magenta and lime green!
As I sat on one of the many benches scattered amongst the garden, I was struck by how life goes on.  Maybe we're lucky and we make things that live on after us - children, flowers, jewelry.  But really the things are just placeholders for the love that was there.

Coral with a touch of yellow
As I waited for my lilies to be dug up, I watched people interact.  A teenage son being pulled into a hug by his mother, laughing together.  Steve and Anna's grandsons - maybe 3 and 4 years old, being taught how to dig up plants by their dad.  My mom, talking quietly with Anna and another church friend whose husband also died this spring.  People of all ages walking through the gardens, gently touching blooms as they made their choices.


That's what I noticed.  More than the world keeps turning through an endless cycle of birth and life and death and rebirth, there is resilience.

I think this might be my favorite.  At least of the pictures that J took.  :)
Life does go on, to bloom again and again and again.  And I'm so grateful to have flowers like this to light the way.
At the entrance to the backyard garden.
J and I brought home 26 different types of lilies.  Twenty-six!  And this barely makes a scratch on all of the ones available.  These will make a beautiful display next summer, and even a few this fall.

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