An Orchid in the Snow

I’m fortunate to have a delightful friend by the name of Don.  I’ve known him for many years through my Eastern Star activities, but we became very close during the past year.  Don is 83, and he lost his wife just a few weeks after I lost my dad.  That sorrow created for a us a bond that may seem odd to many, but we truly delight in each other’s company.  We have shed many tears with each other, and we have laughed quite a bit, too.

Don plays the saxophone, and when I visit his home I often ask him to serenade me.  His fingers are not as nimble as they once were to be certain, but he still blasts a mean version of “String of Pearls” and I get great joy watching him bounce along to the song.

Several months ago, Don asked me to autograph some of my books for him so he could send them to his great-nieces in Iowa.  I thought nothing more of it until last Tuesday night when we were together again at a meeting.  I’d had a fairly rough day dealing with my father-in-law and his being in the hospital, and I arrived at the Masonic Temple in Salt Lake very flustered and feeling unprepared for a meeting that I was supposed to be presiding over.  I sat on one of the leather-covered couches and began preparing my notes.  Don snuck up from behind and startled me.  I was happy to see him, but just a bit stressed out over everything I needed to get done and the short amount of time I had to do it. But the expression on his face made me smile in spite of myself.

With a spry and chipper tone in his voice he asked “Whacha workin’ on?”

“Meeting notes,” I said.

“Oh, too bad.  I thought maybe you was workin’ on another book.”

I shook my head.  “I’m a little behind on that,” I said.  “And I’ve got deadlines sneaking up on me like you just did.”

“So why aren’t ya workin’ on the book?”

“Well,” I paused, looking for an excuse that didn’t sound like an excuse, “life just gets in the way sometimes.”

“Well you should get back to work on it because that is really some talent you got.”

I know the expression on my face must have said something to the effect of “how would you know,” because he followed that statement with, “I read your book before I sent it to my great-niece.”

I didn’t mean to laugh quite so loud, but the idea of an 83-year-old man who is not related to me reading my book meant for pre-teen girls just threw me for a loop.

“It was real good,” Don added.  “You’re pretty funny, you know.”

I instantly had this image of this tiny, old man sitting up in his bed, reading this silly book and laughing. It struck me as so funny, and so sweet at the same time, that I could not help but laugh out loud again.

I wrapped my arms around him and said “I absolutely adore you!”  He hugged me for a long minute and smiled at me.  “If you only knew how much I need that,” I said to him.

“Me, too,” he said.

This is going to seem like a big off-ramp, but hang with me a minute:

Have you ever pulled an old coat out of the closet, stuck you hand in the pockets, and in utter surprise discovered money there?  Have you ever been driving along, or even walking, and looked up at the exact moment that the sun turned the sky the most unbelievable shades of pink and purple and turquoise?  To me, these are orchids in the snow – those unexpected moments of beauty or pleasure that take you completely by surprise and captivate you for just a few minutes, but they stay with you for much longer. It’s a bright splotch of color hidden in a foot of snow that still manages to catch your eye.  They are these little gifts that can take a second and stretch it into eternity while you stare in amazement or amusement. 

My darling friend Don gave me one of those moments last night.  My stress melted away, my frustration turned to delighted laughter, and for a few moments I was totally transported into complete joy and love.  Just sitting here now and reliving it I can barely keep the smile from my face, in fact, I’m grinning broadly despite the late hour and my physical and mental exhaustion. 

But that’s what these moments can do for us.  These are gifts from the Universe to us.  You can go looking for them, but they don’t seem to have the same impact as when they are given unexpectedly.  They are treasures.

I truly cherish my sweet friend, more so now than before even.  I hope that at some point I am able to return the favor for him, or for someone else who might need it. If you’ve had one of these moments, I’d love to hear about it! Drop me a note and tell me about your experience.  If the Law of Attraction really works, the more we talk about these, the more we’ll get to experience!

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One thought on “An Orchid in the Snow

  1. I’m extremely pleased to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to look at new things in your web site.

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