Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Camellia: The Rose of Winter

Camellia with Bee, © 2012, Susan E. Hance
Thanksgiving Day dawned beautiful and there were so many things to be grateful for, the list would wrap around the house. Even though we couldn't get together with all the family we longed for, we were able to Skype--and that's amazing in itself. For an 88 year-old to interact with an 8 year-old, miles apart, started me thinking of all the developments of the last hundred years.

Since 1912, we've been through two World Wars and numerous regional ones. We've experienced the rise and fall of the Berlin wall, the development of penicillin, the advent of televisions in every home, computers, near eradication of smallpox, awesome advances in medical treatments, telephones have morphed from wall bound instruments to portable computers, email, text messages, and automobiles that talk to us.

And I-40 was completed all the way from Wilmington, NC to Barstow, CA. We are a connected country, shore to shore, Atlantic to Pacific.

What would Alexander Graham Bell or Henry Ford think of the world today? The story goes that the first time my great-grandfather, James Daniel Dean, saw a "moving picture show," he walked out, deeming it "a bunch of foolishness." My guess is he'd have no interest in tweeting.

I'm grateful for all the advances in my lifetime, but I'm learning to appreciate the small things in each moment. Maybe it's my age, but I hope everyone can find small pleasures in each day.

On Thanksgiving, I noticed from the kitchen window that the bees were happily visiting every blossom on the camellia bush. I've always liked the label, "Rose of Winter" that I'd heard given to that flower. I'm not sure mine is that variety, but it blooms in November and December here on the southern coast. It's my rose of winter, regardless of it's variety. In the next moment I was outside, knowing my food preparation would wait until I returned. I was as drawn to the bush as the bees, admiring its delicate petals, verdant leaves, and numerous buds; offering the promise of more to come.

In winter, when it can be bleak, there is simple beauty to be found. We sometimes feel down about what we lack, yet there is abundance all around us.  Let's look for the promise of things to come and grasp our opportunities.

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