The simple joys of life – they are the best. It’s amazing how a simple little thing like a flower can boost up the cheer factor of your day quite a few notches. Yesterday, for me, it was my waterlily. I cannot even begin explaining how much joy that single flower brought to my day.
For the past three years I have been growing waterlilies in my container pond. They always put out an abundance of leaves, but a flower remained elusive. This year I almost gave up. “Why bother, they will not flower. It’s just a waste,” I told myself. “They are just going to sit out on the porch, taking up space and providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes.” (I don’t really let them breed. The moment those mosquitoes discover my pond, I get a pair of goldfish to take care of the larvae.) And every winter I had a ‘pond’ sitting there, a mere receptacle for pine needles and rotting leaves from Fall.
But I eventually gave in and planted just one root/rhizome this time. On day two, I saw tiny green spots at the bottom, which told me that the leaves had already begun to sprout. Within a week, there were a few healthy leaves basking on the surface of the pond. And a couple of days back, I saw her, a tightly furled bud, shyly peeking, with just the tip of her head above the water. I was truly astounded. And yesterday, she slowly unfurled, opening up all her sweetness to welcome me home from work. She had finally decided to reward me for my patience and perseverance. So I sat a while by her, drinking in deep of her beauty.
I know I did nothing different this time. I didn’t even add any fertilizer, because my daughter’s puppy Cosmo had taken to lapping up a few mouthfuls of water every time he went by the pond and I didn’t want to add anything to the water that might mess up his tummy. Maybe the spot I had chosen for the pond this year was better or maybe the tadpoles were my lucky charm. A frog had decided to make my pond it’s nursery this time round and there are a couple dozen happy tadpoles playing hide n’ seek among the lily leaves. Or maybe it was the copious amounts of rain we received over the past week. Whatever the reason, third time did prove lucky for me.
I know I can find some deep philosophical truths behind the whole thing, about the enormity of simple joys in life or how the waterlily could be symbolic of something much more profound. But I choose not to. I am just going to let her be what she is – a beautiful pink waterlily. Just that! And I shall sit by her side, gaze in awe at her perfect beauty, and enjoy this lovely blossom. There is so much to tell her. About how I had waited, despairing at times, but never giving up hope, dreaming of the day I could actually sit there and hum, “Alliyambal kadavien araykku vellam…” Tell her how a certain painter immortalized her with a brush and some oil colors; and how much I miss the lotus ponds back home.
And of course I had to add this song.