by LaMesha L. Craft

She laid there in the darkness, listening to the hum of the fan, the periodic cars driving past and her dog's snoring in a distance. She tried to remember exactly when her life changed. She's noticed a gradual change over the last few weeks. She has replaced her scoff and cynical retort when watching sentimental events unfold on television with comments like "awww! that's so sweet!" She has caught herself on more than one occasion, as she quickly clasped her hands over her mouth as if she just told a secret. "I can't believe I just said "awww...what's happening to me?" she'd yell. She's more patient with others and she stops to enjoy the beauty within each day rather than hurry it along.

It can be likened to the early blossoming of a lily. She has always been strong, standing proudly, like the bright green stem of a lily, whether she was alone (and unafraid) or in the presence of many. But she never fully blossomed. Usually, just when she thought the conditions were right and she could expose her magnificent colors, a cold (sometimes relentless) wind proved her wrong. There were times that the wind was so strong she struggled to stay upright. But once it dissipated, she regained her composure. Each time she increased her resolve to stand stronger than before. Each time she became less eager to bloom -- in anticipation (and fear) of a strong and unpredictable wind. Why bother blooming? Conditions could change and the bloom could be extinguished before it reached full maturity -- no one would appreciate the magnificent colors, fragrance, and unique pattern of each petal.

She can't remember when things changed ... but she's very happy (and a little scared) they have. She catches herself swaying back and forth, caused by a gentle breeze -- it slowly (and carefully) moves her from one side to the other. It turns her slightly towards the sun, she feels the warmth ... no longer bracing for heavy winds ... she finds herself relaxing, her petals contemplating a full bloom.

Lily by LaMesha L. Craft

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