It all began last summer, when Ellen invited our Bible study group to gather at her house for our series wrap-up. But the lovely dinner she prepared was not the highlight of the evening. That honor was reserved for the after-dinner viewing of her evening primrose. I was truly fascinated, not only by this unique flower that bursts into bloom this evening, but also by the fact that taking time to stop and watch the primrose bloom is just part of Ellen’s summer evening routine. It made a huge impression on me.
I guess my awe was obvious, for at church a few weeks later, she gifted me with my very own primrose cutting. I promptly planted it in the perfect corner, just off my porch, where we’d be able to view it from many angles. I carefully mulched it last fall, and sure enough this spring, up poked this little bit of greenery. I doused it with deer repellent spray when I saw a few little nibbles. I staked it for support, as I’d seen Ellen do with hers. I compared notes with Ellen. And then I waited for the first sign of those mysterious little yellow blooms. And I waited. And I waited. In spite of Ellen telling me a few weeks ago that hers were in bloom, still I waited patiently. After all, don’t we have the most gorgeous clematis on the block in our front yard, and isn’t it always several weeks behind the others in the neighborhood? Patience is a latent virtue of mine that I can usually dredge up when it comes to flowers and food – go figure!
And then it happened. A few nights ago, on one of my walks down a nearby trail, I spotted another evening primrose, surrounded by many more. They all looked just like mine, sadly devoid of flowers. At the same time my heart went out to them, a light bulb was turning on in my head. No, it couldn’t be! I wrestled for a few minutes and then I had to accept the disappointing reality. Not only was my evening primrose not going to delight me with its elegant evening display, it was most likely not even a primrose. Those funny looking leaves at the top were just sprouting more insidious weedy leaves. Yes, I’ve been nurturing a giant weed.
The funny thing is, how much joy a stinkin’ weed brought me all summer!