The sky loomed ominous as I drove home from my grandfather’s funeral. It seemed appropriate for the clouds to threaten rain as my eyes brimmed with tears from the morning’s services.
I turned into the driveway of Grandpa’s old house. As a girl, I associated the blossoms that emerged in late spring around this yard with my grandmother. She passed away when I was barely two. My dad told me many times how much she had loved to plant and care for the flower bushes that bordered their house. The blossoms came to be a familiar signature of her memory; an annual reminder of life that springs out of winter’s sadness.
I rounded the bend toward my favorite, the lilac bush. My heart ached for the familiar clusters of dark buds; the ones that held in the scent of hope. They are often the last to bloom, remaining stubbornly withdrawn until June’s warmth coaxes them open. But not today.
Uncharacteristically, on this early May afternoon, all but a few clusters were bursting open.
The rain began to fall.
I approached the bush with quiet hesitation, staring.
I reached the branch bearing a full bouquet and turned it with a tender turn.
Droplets fell to the ground as the movement released an exuberance of fragrance.
Goodbyes are rarely sought. It is always too early. We’re never quite ready.
But new beginnings beckon. Steadfast, set in God’s time. Even blossoming in the rain.