The other day I received a little nugget of inspiration and encouragement — while I was taking out the trash of all things. It was a Wednesday (a.k.a. Trash Day), and I was struggling to maneuver the stinky gray plastic bin with the noisy plastic wheels through the almost-too-narrow gap between my car and the garage door frame. What made it a ridiculous scene was that I was wearing a dress and heels as I was headed out to a meeting.

I could have planned ahead and put the bin out the night before.  But no.

The bin was heavy and characteristically uncooperative as it was overloaded with not just a week’s worth of trash, but also some random and rather weighty things I had tossed in as I was tidying up the garage the weekend before.  I had maneuvered the bin through the gap successfully and was clumsily turning it around so I could begin pulling it up my sloping driveway to the curb.

Just at that moment I happened to look down. There just beneath the downspout was a tiny lantana plant with rich green leaves and a delicate yellow blossom.

Lantana growing in concreteV2My first thought was, “How did that get there?”  My second thought was one of delight– and relief.

A few days prior I had seen what appeared to be a weed growing in that very spot. I had meant to pull it. After all, it didn’t belong there and was marring the stark, concrete-to-concrete perfection of where the driveway meets the foundation of my house.

But I just hadn’t gotten around to it. Other things had demanded my attention. Or perhaps I had been too tired to bother to yank it out.  I was suddenly glad I had resisted the urge to fix the situation.

So here it was now, a beautiful flowering, drought-resistant Native Texas perennial in what seemed to be not a weird location, but the perfect location. The plant not only brightened up a very bland space near my garage door, it was also in a place where it was receiving exactly what it needed to thrive. A few drops of precious moisture from dew that settles on the roof and runs down the downspout each morning. Just enough debris-turned-soil that’s accumulated in the gap for its roots. And the perfect amount of nourishing sunshine each morning and cooling shade in the afternoon.

Life appeared to be very good for this little plant.  And to think it was some kind of odd happenstance that put it there.

I saw some beautiful lessons in this. Here are just a few:

  • Some things are meant to grow and bloom exactly where they are planted, even if it appears to be weird or an “accident.”
  • Ah, but it is really an “accident?”
  • Resist the urge to edit, purge, and pull in order to make things “perfect.”
  • You never know what will unfold — or blossom — if you just leave things alone.
  • There is perfection in imperfection.
  • Life and growth are persistent and pervasive. They will show up where they will.

What lessons do you see here?  And what might be blooming in your world that you didn’t expect? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Please share your comments below.

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