Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day iris

The Nebraska immigrant iris began blooming this Memorial Day weekend. Its timing couldn't be better as the rhizomes came from my great-grandparents' graves in a tiny, remote cemetery in southwest Nebraska. I wonder if the iris is blooming there now, too.

I've become quite attached to this iris. It's beautiful and it's tough. Even rhizomes discarded in the used soil pile with no protection or care show signs of life after winter. Is it bullheadedness or a profound desire to live?

The softly fragrant, pale yellow blossoms are a reminder of family ties and loved ones who have died, as well as the importance of resilience. A capacity for resilience was required of those who wanted to create a life for themselves on the plains -- I hope I inherited at least a little bit of that resolve.

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