Plants are amazing survivors, this I know, but I witnessed something in my yard that really surprised me.
Last year, in January, I had to have a large oak tree removed because of its condition. It shaded at least half of my 1/3 acre lot, so the increased sunlight after it was gone was significant. I couldn’t move hostas fast enough; some are still in the line of fire. About four months after the tree came down, I noticed a row of Cannas coming up in the side yard, in an area that had been a lawn gone to weeds as long as I’d been here. I’d mow it mid-summer when the growth got wild and then again in September. There were no Cannas visible. Since I’d never bought or planted a Canna myself, and I’ve lived here since 1987, I knew that someone put it in the ground more than 24 years ago.
My imagination explored the possibilities. My house was built in 1949. So, I have to wonder, who was President when they were planted? Harry Truman? JFK? Reagan? Were the Beatles still together? Had they even been discovered yet? Were girls wearing poodle skirts? Was the Civil Rights Act in effect? Were we still in Viet Nam?
Just think of it – rhizomes, sitting underground, hidden, waiting, just biding their time…..until there was sun shining on the earth above them. Then, up comes a shoot, and another, and another. Into the light they reach, destined to grow into the tall, lush, and exuberant beauties they have become.
If I had been inclined to plant Canna in my garden, I suspect I would have chosen one of the more flamboyant varieties with boldly striped foliage, but many plants as well as “art” pieces in my garden are there more because of what they mean to me than whether they are what’s hot or what’s cool. Gardens are personal and there’s nothing more meaningful, and consequently beautiful, than living a life surrounded by things that evoke memories and feelings or that remind us of lessons learned and battles fought. For that reason, this simple Canna will always be my favorite.
How many times do we see this in our lives – a talent, a gift, a life unnoticed, in the shadows? Is there something or someone casting a shadow over your hopes and dreams? Is there a talent you’ve kept hidden out of fear or insecurity? If you leave it covered, you’ll have what you’ve always had – a buried dream. Bring it out into the light and follow where it leads you.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau