December 13, 2023
Somehow, it finds me every year. I am speaking of the annual poinsettia which mysteriously appears at our front door. I don’t know from whence it comes nor from whom. It is a conundrum. I suspect that a friend or family member is responsible for this. They are the only ones who know where we have moved and the code to the community security gate.
They are a sneaky lot, also. I go to bed at my usual time. Then, sometime in the early-to-mid part of December I awaken to find a potted bit of Christmas cheer on our front porch. The Ring doorbell doesn’t catch them…they are hooded and masked in the manner of a Christmas elf. The dogs don’t alert us; they are secure in the arms of Morpheus also.
This has been going on for a decade, beginning shortly after my mother’s death. Some have suggested that it is her shade coming to pay a hasty visit and tell us that all is well. Nah, she hated poinsettias. Just something else to water and dust until it finally expires around the Fourth of July.
Truth be told, they are not my favorite plant, either. They are beautiful during the Advent and Christmas season and then, like unwelcome company, they linger on, drinking water and responding quickly to a dash of plant food. I tend them out of a sense of guilt and secretly hope that a merciful fungus or other microbe will come along and put them out of my misery. That, of course, never materializes.
This year I have decided to simply live with the mystery and accept the fact that somebody thinks well enough of me to trust me with a living thing, much as a desperate mother might drop off a newborn infant at the gate of a convent. Living with mystery is something I am growing increasingly good at. I simply don’t have the time, energy or really the interest to solve them. I just accept it and move on with life.
Years ago I had an aunt who I am sure was of a mixed mind about me. The year I was diagnosed with Type Two Diabetes she began sending me a Whitman’s Sampler for Christmas and continued to do so until she was gathered unto her mothers.
Down deep in my psyche I can’t help but wonder if my sainted Aunt Gladys hasn’t accepted a new role in the afterlife…the Ghost of Christmas Past!
I bid you peace!