It is perhaps an odd looking picture of a peony plant breaking through as Spring tries it’s best to get started. It is a peony plant that this year represents hope for me and on this Maundy Thursday it seems fitting to write about it. Even though I took the picture yesterday (in the midst of a tornado watch bordering a winter storm and blizzard) it is a bit of a throwback Thursday picture.
Here’s the backstory.
My grandmother loved peonies and had a bunch of them bordering her front yard. When she died in 2000 I transplanted one to our yard in Omaha. I’ve no idea how old the plant was to begin with or if that even matters. How long will peonies live? I really don’t know a whole lot about peonies and in 2000 you couldn’t yet look EVERYTHING up on the interwebs so I did the best I could.
It seemed to do well there. Well enough that the next door neighbor would scam peony flowers to put on his dad’s grave on Memorial Day. Along this peony plant went for the next decade or so. Blooming in time for Memorial Day. In the way of mowing in the summers. Getting run over occasionally because it was too close to the driveway. And finally getting cut back in the fall after the foilage had died back.
Then in 2010 I got a call to a new church (kind of like a voluntary transfer, but not exactly). A new church in Lincoln, an hour away. Not a realistic commute for me so we moved. And took our peony plant with us. Or tried to.
Not knowing where to plant much of anything at our new place out here On The Edge…of Lincoln, I planted it next to the garage along with some other cuttings we brought with us. Kind of a holding place, plant nursery style situation. The other plants, including another peony, did reasonably well there but this peony never did. I began to wonder if it had lived out it’s life as a peony plant. I’m not overly sentimental about plants, or too much of anything as a rule, but I was kind of sad about it.
Last year, out of desperation, I moved it and the other peony to another garden situated next to the house. The other peony took off fine but this one never really did. And then roofers bumped it, in spite of the cage around it that you can see in the pic, so I thought it was probably done for.
A sad moment but everything dies eventually, I guess. Except Twinkies, of course. They live forever.
Then the other day I was doing some Spring cleanup yardwork and ran across this little peony doing what it could to break through. I don’t know if it will thrive here but there is hope. What I once thought was dead is alive.
A fitting reminder this Maundy Thursday as we ponder our faith and what it means for us as followers of Christ that Christ was once thought dead but is alive.
It is… a sign of hope.