Serendipity, according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, is “the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for;”
A better definition is unexpected delight.
We plan for success. When we want to make the sunny border pop, we choose classic, color combinations like purple and yellow, opposites on the color wheel. A ‘Little Rainbow’ daylily, and a ‘Carefree Sunshine’ rose planted in front of purple coneflowers, dwarf zebra grass, and ‘Mellow Yellow’ spirea is a wonderful combination. Add some trailing lilac verbena, and you’ve created some serious pizazz.
But, then there are moments . . . moments which take your breath away, and you finally understand why the Greeks believed their gods were jealous of men. You pause in the weeding, or mulching, or watering to sit for a moment and just gaze at beauty you never considered.
You look up to heaven and murmur a quiet “Thank You.”
This Rudbeckia. possibly a cousin of ‘Irish Eyes,’ seeded itself in front of Hemerocallis ‘Mexican Holiday.’ Note how the yellow petals pick up the golden edge of the dayliliy. Taller, behind these two, is another reddish orange daylily which is a favorite of mine, ‘Bricks Galore.’ It has a yellow throat which echoes the Rudbeckia. My combination, although pretty, is traditional; expected. This is bold.
Or, how about these apricot zinnias which reseeded last summer and pushed their way through dark purple verbena?
Color combinations that occur without our input. Beauty we never expected.
Or, is it Grace?
In the midst of heat and drought, garden surprises like these spur us onward.
“Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world around me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?”
– G.K. Chesterton
I first read this evening poem on the blog Holy Experience by Ann Voskamp, another unexpected delight. I hope she doesn’t mind that I reprinted it here.