I’ve been fairly silent about this until now, but for the last month I’ve been participating in a group at Gather.com called Shedding Light. The group is led by a wonderful “sistah” named Mariana T. Our discussions are about light – not just about being lighter, but about knowing ourselves, being healthy, and treating our bodies in the best way possible.

Our assignment this week is to become a flower, and to write about our day, night and life from the perspective of that flower. This is a story telling form familiar to me – my husband is a pastor, and one Sunday, he astounded me by telling the story of David and Goliath from the perspective of the stone David used in his slingshot. The children in our Sunday School did a Christmas program in December that featured the Christmas story told from the perspective of the animals in the stable where Jesus was born. Another time, our teenagers told the Easter story from the perspective of the rock that lay rolled across the tomb where Jesus was buried.

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If my husband can tell a story from the perspective of a cold, inanimate rock, certainly I can handle being a flower!

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Choosing which flower I most closely identified with was my next task. The most obvious choice seemed to be the bluebell, the flowers after which my bed and breakfast, The Blue Belle Inn, is named. The bluebells are blooming right now, as they always do around Mother’s Day. But I’ve been Miss Blue Belle, done that, so often in the past 19 years… that I decided to go another direction. I truly wanted to distance myself from the business aspects of my life and have this be about me.

I thought briefly about being a pink cabbage rose, a color and flower I love, but as those of you who know about the book I’ve been working on for the last several months may have guessed, in the end, I had to be a water lily. It is where my heart is, at least for now.

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Here goes:

I am afloat in a tranquil pond of warm water today. Last night was very chilly, but the sun was bright this morning. I  languishing in my watery lair for part of the day, then poked my head above the surface of the water and unfurled my petals.

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My friends tell me admit that they think I’m pretty adaptable. I can live underwater, and in the air, and spend part of my time in each place – a feat the Little Mermaid would have given anything to accomplish.

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I am born of still, black waters, baptized in it so to speak, but I flourish in the sunshine.

My hardy cousins survive brutal winters when it is cold and the surface above them is covered with a thick layer of ice, but I am a fragile, tropical lily who was transplanted and forced to live in a bitterly cold climate. I spend the cold months inside where it is warm, laying dormant, wrapped in black, waiting for spring.

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Cold does not become me. I need the sunshine to bloom, the warmth of the air to be at my best.

If you could see my humble beginnings – a basket of wet dirt – mud really – weighted down by rocks to keep me at the bottom of the pond, you would marvel all the more at my perfectly shaped petals and sweet, pastel-colored blossoms.

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You might think my life is idyllic, as I float gently in the warm current of a summer pond – you might equate me with peace, stillness, and calm. But although I can hide under the surface when it hails and storms, my leaves can easily be ripped to shreds. I am happy to support my friends the frogs when they sit atop me and sing their nightly serenade, but I secretly detest the slimy algae that cling to my stem and cloud my home with green. Pond scum is a curse to my kind.

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But for now, I am happy. It is spring. Soon, there will be tadpoles flitting about in the water, hiding under my leaves. I feel lazy today, but I have just enough energy to lift my pink petals and yellow center to the sunshine. All is well.

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