Months ago, I came home from a trip to Granny's with a scraggly, grassy bundle, wrapped in damp paper towels. Daylillies from her yard.
They were first in my Momo's yard. Then in Granny's and I believe that there have been some transplanted daylilies in the yard of every single house that I lived in as a child, and we got around a good bit!
We moved. My mother planted daylilies. We put down our roots wherever we roamed.
I had yet to plant any as an adult though. Mainly, this is because I kill nearly every plant I touch and it seemed a sacrilege to risk the slaughter of my great grandmother's daylilies.
Finally though, wanting so much to have a living piece of there, here, (and with my Granny's laughing promise, "Honey even you CAN NOT kill these things, not even if you want to!") I brought home my paper-wrapped bundle and eased them, along with my prayers, into new ground. Hopeful.
Mostly, my scraggly bunch of daylillies has looked brown around the edges, pale, suicidal.
So imagine my surprise when we pulled into the drive after our long ride home from Granny's house and were greeted with our very first audacious orange blossom.
In that moment, when I had been feeling so sad to have left the country and my kin behind, it felt like one of the big, breath-stopping hugs that my Momo always gave me when we arrived at her house for a visit. I half expected to find tamales cooking in my kitchen and Johnny Cash on the radio; to see her wearing her apron and her smile, waiting for me. I sat right down and cried.
I think I know now why my mother always planted daylilies.