My dad is an enthusiastic gardener, and maybe he appreciated how the lilies can grow even under the shady fringes of woods along the back roads. It was there, anyway, that he pulled over the pickup and got out with his shovel, dug up a clump of lilies and tossed them into the back.
I don't really remember why my dad and I were there -- maybe he was bringing me to summer camp? But in any case, I think I was probably by myself as I cringed in embarrassment, thinking something like, "Most people would just go visit a garden nursery!"
My dad is not like most people, and I am grateful for that. He has taught me many lessons in life, showing me that beauty is something worth cultivating and the way everyone does it is not necessarily the best way and many other things that have made me wiser along the way. And I'm excited because Joe is starting that same kind of lifework this year, though I know he won't do it quite like my dad did.
I think the lilies are still blooming every summer along the edge of my parents' backyard, bright orange under the shade of the fringe of woods.