About trashed flowers and redemption

From Nancy Westphal, whom I met in line at Costco, proving yet again that inspiration is as close as the person next to you:

There was a time many years ago when I lived in downtown Chicago.  I was struggling with a belief that evil was more powerful than goodness.  I was very afraid and pretty sure evil was the more omnipotent of the two. 

Leaving work one night I walked down Michigan Ave. towards home, deep in what felt like a struggle for my very soul.  By the Drake Hotel there was a flower box full of gorgeous flowers that I often stopped to relish.  So beautiful and delicate.  Similar to morning glories and that same heavenly blue.  

On this night someone had torn a handful of the flowers out of the box, stomped and ground them into the sidewalk.  So savage.  They looked dead.  

I was outraged and grieved for the flowers.  I could not just walk past.  I gathered them and took them home with me.  My thought was that they might have been cruelly mistreated but no way in hell was I going to be the kind of person who walks away.  

I took them home and put them in water.  The flowers very gingerly began to revive.  

I cannot begin to tell you the miracle this was.  Each day they became more beautiful . . . and happy.  I’d come home and they would practically be singing.  

They lasted about two weeks, which was a miracle in itself.  The final bloom (because they bloomed!) was a huge double bloom.  Felt like they were saying thank you. 

I have tears in my eyes from this memory because these flowers gave me something I did not have . . . they gave me hope and that was everything.  And slowly and very gingerly I have blossomed too. 

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