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.