June 25, 2020
Our family has been staying connected through an Instagram feed. This happened prior to the lock down but our conversations now seem longer and more varied as we virtually share our stories. Lately we have been sharing about our little granddaughters and their displays of dance. Three of them are involved in dance studios which have continued virtually. Now they are holding virtual recitals and we have been able to watch them on our phones. These are complete with flashy outfits and “all the latest steps.” I guess it is true, the show must go on!
We got a wonderful picture and an amazing background story to go with it from my sister-in-law on our feed today. She has an Orchid Cactus (called Queen of the Night; scientific name: Epiphyllum oxypetalum) she keeps in her backyard and it bloomed last night. This type of night bloomer happens extremely fast and if you do not pay attention you will miss it. First, they send up an asparagus like shoot. Then two or three days later they bloom, and always at night. This variety is native to the desert and blooming loses a lot of water. The large flowers only last one night to conserve as much water as it can and still attract the pollinating insects that help it propagate.
As beautiful as the flower is the story behind the plant is more so. The original cactus comes from her grandmother’s house in Denmark. During the war in 1945 a bomb exploded in her backyard, creating a tremendous hole, and blowing out all the windows in the house. Her grandfather rebuilt the house himself and added a window box/greenhouse in the kitchen where she kept the cactus. When the cactus was ready to bloom, she would stay up all night so she would not miss any of its display. Karen’s cactus is taken from her mother who got it from her grandmothers’ original plant. The cactus and the story have been passed down from one generation to the next.
THOUGHTS: I used to listen to Paul Harvey at lunch when I worked at the lake. His specialty was telling stories in parts, and always with a twist. His daily closing was, “This is Paul Harvey, and now you know the rest of the story.” Knowing the rest of the story is often what makes it meaningful. That is true with the cactus. I wonder what stories we will generate amid our current unrest. We can create things of beauty and lasting memories to be passed down to later generations. We just need to work together to make it happen. If you can, work to keep the conversation going.