As a senior (wait, what? I’m still a young thing!) held mostly at home by pandemic, beset by the chill of dread that haunts us all, I’m at the same time strangely warmed by an unlooked for grace that makes me rise with a smile and work happily all day. Creating. Generating. It’s as if all the experiences and findings of my long life have found me. Something wants to be done with all this treasure.  As if it matters.  Does it? I hope so. I’ve heard that when love flows in, you are not to be endpoint but conduit.


Mary Oliver’s Instructions for Life:  Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.


So, an outflow of poems and pictures and iMovies.  Well and good.  But sometimes I miss something.  It’s true that we don’t notice what we don’t notice.


For instance, I’ve been rejoicing in the inexplicable surge of my old hoya vine, which has sat greenly on my sun porch for many years, and is now in a frenzy of pink I can only hope is not its last hurrah.


This was a gift from a friend, and before that a gift from a friend.  By propagation.


Now comes this vine to the attention of another friend, who asked briskly, “Why haven’t you taken a cutting for me?”  When I replied lamely that I never thought to, and besides I don’t know how, she said all you have to do is cut a piece and stick it in a jar of water.


So, next pause in Miss Hoya’s furious blooming, I carried her to the sink, unwound her – finding several new buds! – and took a cutting.  We shall see if that’s really all you have to do.



Author: Phoebe Dishman

Phoebe H. Dishman was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. An essayist and poet, she teaches adult Sunday school, compiles a monthly prayer calendar, edits the Big Thicket Association quarterly bulletin, and keeps a keen eye and ear open for birds.

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