I anticipated the blooming of my Asiatic lily this year, knowing it wasn’t an Easter lily and would come later. Planted several years ago outside my office window, it has dependably produced a single stalk with four or five blooms. This year it promised more with two stalks so laden with ten bulbs on one and twelve bulbs on the other that they leaned on other plants for support.
I hovered, making daily trips to see their progress, with worse luck than waiting for that proverbial pot to boil. Intense scrutiny took weeks as I watched tiny green bulbs grow to medium green bulbs and then to large green bulbs. I counted often to be sure they were all still there. Finally, they turned chartreuse, then light yellow, then white. I knew they had to pop any day, and finally they did – one, now three, now six until the first couple faded as the last of the twenty-two bulbs bloomed. Naturally, I got my camera.
I turned around after I snapped the picture and looked behind me on the porch shelf. Something had been happening behind my back while I futilely tried to hurry the lilies. An empty bird’s nest showed me what I had missed when I focused on the future lilies instead of appreciating my present surroundings. A bird family had built a nest, laid their eggs, raised the babies, and flown away. I had missed the whole thing – right there not three feet way from the lilies.
An Aesopian thought crossed my mind. I wonder how many wonderful present experiences I have missed with my mind focused on some future pleasure. I’m presently looking forward to an annual writer’s weekend in October, but I’m trying to take my lesson to heart so I don’t miss all the good stuff between now and then.