A small astonishment

“Hello house!” I said, stepping into the apartment after two weeks away. (It’s an apartment, not a house, but I pretend.) “Hello Helmut!” I continued. (An old habit.) No answer from either, except the answer that is the quiet familiarity and Geborgenheit (security/shelter/comfort) I feel in my home. The place was warm, but all seemed well. I opened some windows and stepped on to the balcony.

I’d not asked anyone to water, in my absence, the two plants I have out there — some kind of vining plant with bell shaped flowers whose name I’ve forgotten and a pot of geraniums — for I considered them both summer specific and summer would soon be over anyway. Before I left I had tucked the geraniums out of sight of my L-shaped balcony so their demise would not be witnessed by anyone who might happen to look up.

The vine whose name I’ve forgotten now looked pale and rather worse for the drought I’d imposed on it but was still alive. Then I rounded the corner and was greeted — to my great surprise — by a display of red such as I’ve not seen all season. And this in spite of two weeks of no water.

It seems a human tendency — at least it is for me — to attempt to enlarge such surprises or sightings into bigger truths, lessons as it were, like persistence in this case or blooming in spite of etc. etc., but this time I checked these thoughts. I realized this could be simply itself, could be what it was: a delight of red geraniums, a small astonishment, an unexpected welcome back.  77B212A3-8B36-49B4-809D-A6AD605A2FCD

12 thoughts on “A small astonishment

  1. Love reading your posts! I also lost my husband too soon and moved from a beautiful home in OK Falls to a new apartment in Penticton. I did not realize I would not like apartment living until I was assigned my parking space. I have to back in between a cement post and a cement wall. Backing was not a great skill of mine even when I was younger. While on a Maritime tour, my apartment sold and I am now moving into a 55 plus townhouse. My realtor commented at the time I bought my apartment that I might not be happy anywhere without Ron. I knew she was right! We did so much together but he made all the major decisions and took care of all our finances. It’s been almost 3 years now and I have learned so much. I didn’t used to know we had a banker and now we are on first name basis! I want this to be a good move and seeing my little patch of grass and room for some potted flowers makes me think it will be. I was up on the 9th floor and had an amazing view but between the heat and the wind, my flowers did not thrive or even survive.
    I am not the good writer you are but I have self-published a History book on my mom’s side of the family and just recently had a child’s/adult’s book called An Okanagan Alphabet book published by a small publishing company out of Kelowna. It can be found on Amazon plus local book stores and gift shops. Thanks for listening!

    • Thank you Florence, and for sharing something of your journey. I’m glad you have found a home that works better for you than what you had before and have also been writing. Congratulations! It also sounds like you have had to learn many new skills as a widow but are doing it well. It’s stretching, isn’t it.

  2. I was out of town for a week as well. My husband forgot to water my geraniums on the south porch. When I arrived home, the plants were dry but also burst with the most brilliant red, pink, and magenta. It was as if the lack of water intensified the color, a last burst of energy before the cold of winter. 🙂

  3. Such a poignant post. And yeah for geraniums! I care for 2 geraniums from a recently deceased friend and they just keep giving.

    • Oh so lovely, your care, their giving. When I was young I thought geraniums were “old ladies’s” flowers. I’d see them on windowsills in pots and honestly, they did not appeal. But now I love them. Might be getting older myself, ha ha.

  4. Geraniums are hardy plants! People bag them in winter and then replant them but that didn’t work for me. I broke a fairly large branch off one accidentally and stuck it in a vase with water. It developed roots and the next summer I potted it and it bloomed for me! Yours is gorgeous, Dora. Maybe they like to be neglected!

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