A couple of weeks ago I was sick and feeling generally down, and not just because I was sick. Doha Days can sometimes stretch into Doha weeks around here. If you don't know what I am talking about, you haven't lived in Doha. I don't think I possess the vocabulary skills for describing exactly what Doha Days are like except to say that there are days here when the bland color of Qatar beige chews at your soul and suddenly hope is some distant concept that is then replaced by resignation, surrender, and the waving of an emotional white flag.
So it was on one of my many Doha Days that my neighbor and friend Afton dropped by with these flowers. She was apologetic for disturbing me and apologetic that the lilies hadn't opened yet but promised me they would. I thanked her as well as I could, being shocked into the realization that color and hope still existed and they had just been handed to me in a bouquet. Afton walked out my door not knowing the ripples of her delivery.
Almost instantly I felt the flutters of expectation and renewal. Flowers can be such a frivolous purchase when we get them for ourselves, but as I received this simple gift from a thoughtful friend, the blossoms of life returned to my heart and I felt gratitude flood the bland thought diet I had been existing on. I began feasting on the nuances of my many blessings and shook off the lethargy of depression. Thanks, Afton. Your flowers hung around for a long time, and the lilies DID bloom into fragrant floral paintings that let me find myself in more glorious landscapes than the sandstorms on the horizon. And Afton, thanks for being a continuous reminder of all that is good in this world.