Friday, April 8, 2011

If they are irises...

In Italy, there is a saying that goes like this:

"Se sono rose, fiorianno."

If they are roses, they will bloom.

Italian flower market in Piazza Repubblica

Italians use this saying to describe a budding romance. If the couple is truly meant to be together, then no matter what life throws in their way, they will one day be united. If it is truly love, then it will all work out.

Now, I'm not going to analyze the saying too deeply. Sometimes its better to let beautiful words just remain as they are and not ruin the sentimental, yet unrealistic, thought behind it all. Plus, I like the fact that I remember how to say something from my two years talking with Italians.

The idea of these roses blooming regardless of their situation got me thinking. Life in Italy just tends to be bella. Beautiful. Even when things are crappy, Italians and their language have a way of making it all va bene.

Their food is beautiful; perfectly cooked pasta can make their whole day.
Their cities are (for the most part) stunning. You can't have a bad attitude when taking in a view like this:
My all time favorite spot, overlooking Florence from Piazza Michelangelo. 

So, after three years of being back in the United States, how can I get the Italian attitude of "se sono rose, fiorianno" to apply?

Just this morning it dawned on me. Literally, I was up early. The wonderful husband and I have been seizing the day so to speak and working out at 6 am. Brutal, but very important to maintain the "bella figura." You can't eat macaroni and cheese and Little Caesar's pizza and not expect to pay for it. It's unhealthy and more importantly un-Italian. Lose, lose.

Back to my realization, this morning I saw the most amazing feat of spring. Some long forgotten purple irises had bloomed overnight in our backyard. Gorgeous, natural, and totally by the grace of God - because we all know I didn't water them.

Can you believe this is in my backyard?! 
Evan has told me before of the special relationship Denton has with the iris. I'm not sure the exact history, but if you look around at the older neighborhoods in the city, they all have a section of their garden dedicated to irises. The new neighborhoods don't count, because they are filled with mostly twenty-to-thirty somethings like me who have lost the art of gardening or keeping any plant alive for that matter...we know that weeds are bad and that's about as far as we get.

You have to drive around the older parts of town. Where the cars are more like boats and they've installed hand rails along the front walk. Those people have irises and they probably also know why they are important to Denton.

Maybe someday I'll go knock on a door and ask a cute little old woman what the deal is with irises, but in the meantime I know this: Its doesn't matter if you water them properly (or at all), it doesn't matter where you plant them, it doesn't matter if your dog runs over them while chasing a tennis ball (everyday)...

Se sono iris, fiorianno.
If they are irises in Denton, they will bloom.

This all makes me think of they very cheesy American saying, "bloom where you are planted." Whatever the place or season of life, there is a plan and purpose and a way to thrive. I think what I'm trying to say among all this flower talk is that I want to be able to thrive wherever God puts me...whether that's among fragrant Italian roses, independent Denton irises, or just a bunch of weeds somewhere.

If God plants us somewhere, we will get to know Him more.
Fioriremo! We will bloom.

If you've noticed, I've rambled on this blog about trusting God in times of change and now all this silly flower talk... and I promise there is a reason. I hope to connect all my processing to actual events here soon and maybe not sound so crazy, mushy and abstract.

And you never know... the next place God takes us, I may have a garden full of things that are pretty, colorful and alive. I will try my best. Until then, I'll enjoy my irises, put the dog on a leash and refresh my Italian. I really need to know more than just random phrases about roses.

She looks guilty already. We'll see how long the flowers last. 


  1. I love this. I don't think "bloom where you are planted it cheesy" at all! It's comforting in a way. On top of the great message in your post, I love it because purple irises are my all-time favorite flower! Thanks for this!

  2. i didn't realize you were blogging! i'll enjoy checking on you now!