You’d given up hope. Not nearly – it was totally gone. Pitched over the side of your leaky vessel like cargo you couldn’t carry any more. Wouldn’t carry.

Heavy stuff, hope.

And then, a sign. Late one afternoon disguised as an ordinary day came a shout.

“Maggie, come see this!”

My husband spends his days bent over a desk, a computer, a hospital bed.  Evenings he hunkers down in meetings or leans into phone conversations. Helping people is what he does, and it stoops him low sometimes.

But those scattered moments between daytime agendas and evening obligations? My man escapes to his green sanctuary, surveying his garden like Adam in Eden. Inspecting, admiring, caretaking. Straightening his shoulders a bit under cares that can bow a preacher down.

Peering out the kitchen window, I see nothing but green. The same green archway of wisteria vines that our daughter and son-in-love strolled through on their wedding day nine Mays ago. Vines planted a dozen years back yet still so barren that desperation took peonies and wired them high to bless the couple with color. Vines that bore an invisible warning: all ye who enter herein abandon hope we will ever bloom.

Amber wed_Dan 046.jpg

Wisteria enhanced with peonies on Amber & Ben’s wedding day May 28, 2007


I went outside, peered into the green tangle I’d given up on.

And out of nothing, something. Out of nowhere, there they were. Not purple like my dreams infused with wisteria hysteria. White instead. Bridal white like the couple who passed beneath their branches that May day years ago.

Gorgeous wisteria. Snowy and fragrant and shy, visible only to the gardener who had eyes to see.

Wisteria White

Wisteria in Rowes’ Garden May 2016

It can happen for you, too, you know.

That life-plot you’ve hunkered over, tilling the soil, planting the seeds, imploring the Rainmaker to open the heavens?

That dream you’ve had that’s lain dormant for so many years?

Life can bloom where you least expect it.

Hope can arise in the strangest of places.

And it can look a lot like wisteria.