A Smile

There are some things in life that put a smile on your face and a knowing in your heart.

The first time, at fourteen, when my eyes met the gaze of a lanky browned eye seventeen-year-old boy, I smiled and knew. The year was nineteen fifty-four; even then, when my heart skipped a crack in the sidewalk, there was a knowing of what was ahead in my future. Today like a child playing leapfrog my heart skips a beat when he gets that special look in his eyes, even after forty-six years.

When our first child was born, dawn peeked through at the very moment water gushed and he entered the world, I smiled and knew in my heart, God had just preformed a miracle.

My husband and I went on to conceive three more children; there was always a smile on our faces and a knowing in our hearts, at each birth, that it was indeed unique in its precious wonderment.

Our lives ran a race with time and grandchildren became a part of our lives. We look upon them and see a resemblance to their parents; we smile to ourselves and know genes and habits are passed down through generations.

I use to look in the mirror and smile. I knew in my heart time was passing faster than I realized; I heard a remark escape my lips and smiled to myself knowing that I was indeed becoming my mother.

Then one day I caught a glance at my reflection and my grandmother smiled back at me. I knew the matronly woman greeting me had indeed evolved; the calendar was flipping pages and my years were dwindling down. I smiled to myself and knew, I was indeed, like she, a bit pudgy.

The wind blows and the wind chimes outside my door sound they’re warning; there is a storm blowing in. A smile forms at the corners of my lips; I know God is sending us much needed rain.

When we moved into our home, several years ago, there where a few lone perennial plantings out back by the property line. A lone Peony bush and a straggly little rose bush. I ignored them. Later when adding on to our house we decided to do some landscaping. We added to the flowerbed expanding the plantings. We discussed digging up the lone scrawny rose bush; after all it was puny, not much flowering to it. But I said, oh, just leave it. I smiled to myself and said from my heart - what does it hurt?

As the yard became mature and the daffodils, irises, tulips and other flowers in the garden bloomed each season, I noticed the plantings where flourishing. The rose bush, though, remained scrawny, a little like a malnourished, emaciated American beauty. It blooms one lone rose at a time; yet, when it does, it is a beauty. Red and luscious it stands out like a first-place contestant on stage, a trophy in the hands of a winner. It brings a smile to my face and a knowing in my heart; it is small, scraggly, but faithful.

I came home the other day, a bit of stress settling in, I looked out the back window and smiled, I knew in my heart, it wasn’t by accident the red beauty greeted me. Faithfulness always emits beauty.

As fall rolls around every year and the yard and garden begin to prepare for the hibernation of winter, one thing remains, the gaunt little rose stem with a leaf or two hangs on as if clinging to an intravenous lifeline. But before the first freeze or snowfall, winters sleepover, a last rose will bloom. I smile to myself and I know in my heart the lone rose will bloom again when spring once again greets me.

When the rose refuses ever to bloom again, the pages on my calendar will cease to turn. It will be your turn to smile and a knowing will come to your heart. All things must fade away and die; life on earth is but for a season. Smile and know in your heart I shall bloom again in God’s garden, where I shall never wither or die.

Betty King baking2@charter.net

Betty King is a freelance writer and author of two books, “It Takes Two Mountains to Make a Valley” and “But – It Was in the Valleys I Grew.” She is a newspaper columnist writing, Betty’s Points to Ponder. She has a story in Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter’s Soul and one in Alice Gray’s book, Stories from a Soldiers heart. Visit her website www.betty.newsmoose.com or email her at baking2@charter.net

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