It was a season of irritation,
the kind where everything gets under your skin:
the way your husband leaves his dirty socks wadded up by the side of the bed
or your daughter leaves her shoes exactly where she took them off under the kitchen counter
or you hear the dog’s paws padding in exactly at 430 am every morning to be let out.
I don’t know if it was triggered by a new year
or a let down after the holidays where it took two weeks into January to unload the Christmas tree and the nutcrackers and village houses and all the other stuff that goes with it.
Even though all the decorations are down they are still piled up in plastic bins in a three car garage where there is only room for one car at the moment.
And the slow resolution to declutter that is always procrastinated initiated that day and finished on the back porch.
My favorite spot in the house.
My alone place to think and write and drink my coffee and look out on the still waters of the small lake behind my house.
But that day on the back porch I only saw the mildew (I live in Florida) and the dirt on the pillows and the brick pavers and all the stuff and the flower pots with half alive plants that I resolved to just give up on and toss into the dark green garbage bags which my uncluttered friends tell me is the only receptacle to throw things into if you are truly serious about decluttering your home. Throw it in. Tie it up. Take it to the curb or to Goodwill. (Unfortunately, I get stuck at this step, hence the full 3 car garage)
It’s a good thing I got distracted on this last purging binge.
For this morning
unfurling out of the flower pots that were almost relegated to the dark green garbage bags
is a beautiful branch of orchids.
A lovely shade of purple.
Actually, the orchid color you see on a crayon or a paint chip.
The branch hovers beautifully over the mildewed pillows on my porch sofa.
Beside it another pot holds out another curl of blooms full of promise.
To think I would have missed out on this something beautiful on my back porch
if I had trashed them
as I am so inclined to do these days when clutter overwhelms me,
the little things, the endless things you think will change but they do not…
the doctors appointments, mom’s Alzheimer medications, the dog to the vet, the kids’ needs to prepare for or be in college, the garage still full of plastic bins……..
They say the trick to tending to orchids is to leave them alone, care for them gently with
only a little bit of watering and a lot of patience to wait for it to blossom.
I hope these blooms last for a spell, a symbol of grace and simplicity and hope
when everything that piles up seems destined to disorder.
For nestled underneath the cracked pot and dirt and rubble of my life is a part of me just waiting, anticipating a bloom.