(warning: non-flippant post)
So Violet over at promptings posted something about peonies (a Mary Oliver poem! Go read it! It's Mary Oliver!) and when I realized how long the comment I wanted to leave in response to it was, I realized I had a whole post of my own.
The first thing it reminded me of was a short short story I wrote a long, long time ago. I sent it in to a contest at Canadian Writer's Journal and was astonished to learn that they'd given me an Honorable Mention for it. Especially since I only found about it when a friend who was looking at their website e-mailed me "Why didn't you tell me this???", with a link to the list of winners. And the Saturday I received that e-mail was the Saturday between my father's death, and his funeral. I came out of his study at my parents house, astonished, shouting "I just got published again!" and my brother came out of the kitchen, hugged me and said "I think you need a few more highs and lows in your life." Anyone want to read it?
The second thing Violet's peony post reminded me of is where this poem started. A was a baby, and it was the summer of the second year I'd been gardening. The peony a good friend had given us had bloomed for the first time - only two flowers, face down in the mud on their slender stalks. I cut the blooms, and their spicy perfume enveloped our entire house. I started thinking about how the word "only" is or is not applicable, depending on your perspective. There are no peonies in the poem, but peonies are where it started.