Monday, April 26, 2010

Hope Springs Eternal

Last fall, I planted a Gold Star Esperanza bush in my front flower bed. Esperanza is a mostly perennial bush here that makes yellow trumpet-shaped flowers all summer and into the fall. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. This bush wasn't very big, but my hope was that it would grow bigger every year and eventually fill the space I had for it.

After the freeze we had in February, I didn't know whether it would come back. I have waited and watched in vain this spring for signs of life, and had given up hope. In fact, the only reason I didn't already tear it out is that I hadn't gotten anything to replace it.

Then a couple days ago, I spotted a shoot! Hurrah! I ran for my camera.

As I was angling for the best way to photograph this miracle, I was aware of Rooster close by. He kept talking to me, and I kept murmuring something like, "Uh-huh, I'll look at it in a second, honey." I had to keep moving around because he kept ending up in the background of my photo.

Finally I looked up. The sweet child was actually trying to get in my photo, because he thought I had brought the camera out to take a picture of him with his new fire truck! If I had asked for this photo, I would never have gotten it.

Since I hadn't asked, I also got these.

Rooster had been given this ladder truck a few days earlier by a neighbor whose son had outgrown it. And this boy is in heaven. The truck has gone to preschool for show-and-tell, to Grammy's house to meet all the tractors that live out there, and now spends its days going inside and outside wherever the Rooster may be.

Few things in life have tickled me as much as watching my sturdy boy move this gigantic toy around. He insists on loading it in the back of the car, carrying it inside and outside, all by himself, but the thing is almost as big as he is--and that is saying something.

Esperanza is the name of my butterfly bush. It is also the Spanish word for hope. I had such hope that my plant would grow, but I doubted. Sighting signs of life brought it all back in a rush.

But I almost missed the real beauty of the moment, the eternal esperanza of my child that I would understand his heart. I love the way this boy holds his toys dear. I love the joy in his eyes when he was told he could take this truck home; and the hope when he saw my camera and assumed I was intending to photograph this amazing addition to his life.

My real hope is for my children, that they never lose their wonder for the world, and that the spark of hope would forever live in their own hearts.

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