Tuesday, 27 May 2008
The excitement of waiting and the beauty of knowing
I bought this peony last year from a plant sale in the local church hall. The old man selling it couldn't remember what colour the flowers would be. He had a feeling it was a red peony. I bought it anyway. I don't really like too much red in the garden but the element of surprise and not wanting to say "no" to the seller was too much for me. So for a year I have waited. Watched the plant grow, eagerly awaiting the first buds and then trying to judge its colour by the tightly wrapped petals. It seemed as if the old man was right, judging by the outer petals on the bud it was going to be a bright, fiery red. As the buds increased I was becoming more and more excited by the prospect of a burst of fiery red blossom in the corner of the garden. The other day when the sun was at it's hottest the bud unfurled and this is what it revealed. Beautifully crisp, pure white , with the added bonus of those first few tantalising raspberry edged petals. A wonderful surprise, that was well worth the wait. I knew deep down it was going to be beautiful.
This weekend after weeks of frenzied emailing I finally got to meet this lovely lady I knew it was going to be a real treat but hadn't anticipated the flurry of mutual nerves and insecurities that this meeting would bring! A real attack of middle age crisis came over me and as the day approached and our emails became more and more hysterical I wondered where all this was coming from. Having swayed daily from wearing a diving suit, balaclava, and finally full bee-keeping suit complete with hood to meet Michele in, the mid week low came at breakfast:
Big Sister: "Mum you should wear your hair in a really tight pony tail on Saturday"
Mrs Ragged (very ragged) Roses: "Why?"
Big Sister: "Well it's meant to be as good as Botox and less painful than a face lift!" (said in all seriousness)
At which point M chokes on his muesli and I lose the will to live!
I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to let my daughters understand just how important it is not to get too hung up on appearances and here was I not exactly leading by example. Just why this was happening I couldn't understand until Saturday morning when order of some sort prevailed, when I put on my normal clothes, brushed my hair as normal, ditched the pony tail (!) and went to meet Mrs Custard - what I was feeling was sheer excitement (mixed with more than a tinge of not wanting to be a disappointment).
After months of reading each other's blogs and emailing and striking up such a warm affinity and friendship I really didn't want to be responsible for tarnishing any of that. Within minutes of meeting, finally meeting, all of those feelings were dispelled. Both Mr and Mrs Custard were just as I imagined - lovely, warm, kind and gentle people and it was I felt just a few minutes before we were able to continue where our emails had left off.
I am so grateful that they both made time in their very busy, and constantly changing, schedule to meet the Ragged Roses on Saturday. It was so good to finally meet up, to walk along chatting and laughing, to take them along to say hello to Emma and her gorgeous little boy (Emma we have fallen in love, big time with your little boy!). When they left for the next stage of their whirlwind tour, it felt like we were saying goodbye to old friends. I have so much to say about Saturday but in a way can't say it, it meant a lot to me ... not the most profound thing to say but perhaps the most honest. I have at times felt overwhelmed by the warmth and kindness of you fellow bloggers, "strangers" who have become friends. Now and again the line between "real life" and blogworld disappears - Ragged Roses becomes Kim and Cowboys & Custard becomes Michele and Sew Recycled becomes Emma - and favourite bloggers on your link bar have faces and voices and you know that, just like my peony, you were going to like them right from the start!