Thursday, May 17, 2012

Becoming an Orchid Girl

The orchid’s petals turned open, soft and purple. So bright against the gray retaining wall at my house. So vibrant against my morning.

I’d just spent 20 minutes mopping up smelly water that had flooded my floors from the load of dirty diapers in my washing machine. The washer hose—all broken and eaten-up by rodents—had come loose from its slot to the outside, spilling instead its contents inside of my house.

And though I’ve tried and tried and tried for three years to get the eaten-up hose replaced, my order with the local repair shop never comes in.

I mopped what I could, holding my breath against the smell. I gave up when my hungry kids kept falling on the slick floor. I fed them—outside—and turned to my daily routine—watering everything in my yard.

I should be no good at this—gardening that is. I couldn’t keep herbs alive years ago when I tried in the States. I’ve never managed to get anything to grow from seeds in my Texas pot garden.

But this tropical island makes it easy for me. The sky watering everything most days. The sun shining bright to coax out blooms. The air never freezing. The continual summer a great breeding ground for birds of paradise plants, bougainvilleas, orchids. And mold and colonies of ants.

But one thing I am good at is, um, complaining. When the electricity goes out for hours. When my floor is covered in filth. When my kids are fighting with each other.

I grumble in my head, the words leaking out into impatience with the kids, discontent with my life, and mistrust of God.

But I’m trying to change. Not change my circumstances to make me happier. But changing me to just be happier. No matter the yuckiness around me.

So, may I grow vibrant against the gray of this world.

photo credit, jenniferphoon

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