September 1, 2009 by skwishface
I have a flaw. Shocking! I’ll give you a moment to recover.
Anyway, so this flaw. It is my persistent tendency to think I know everything. And I’m always right. About these things that I know about. Which is everything.
Believe it or not, I don’t know everything. Also not always right. Once upon a time, I was a naturally shy and timid creature. The best way I could devise to both protect my squishy center and force myself to venture out into the world was to project an air of confidence and knowledgeability. Which may not even be a word. Regardless, tell a lie often enough and it becomes your reality. I needed the pro-active self defense. Particularly after my recent hospital fiasco, in which several weeks were spent swamped in the uncertainty of big complicated medical mess that I had no way of ever knowing about. Now my knee-jerk reaction is often to assume that what little I know of something is the whole truth. Because if I don’t know it, it doesn’t exist. This makes me an avid learner. I love to learn new things to know everything about.
(I exaggerate, but only a little bit)
Reality loves an easy target. When it saw me strutting about in all my brainy splendor, it decided to perform a small object lesson. In the form of this:
Central Texas has suffered a drought for a long and painful time. Recently we had a sudden burst of tiny, violent thunderstorms that rushed in, soaked everything, threw around a few trees, and left. I knew people in college like that.
Half a day of sunshine later, these little white flowers suddenly popped up all over my mostly-dead back yard. I’d seen them before, but never had a fabulous new camera to snap pictures of them.
Wildflowers! Right? They’re appearing in my weedy, overgrown, undertended back yard. They grow quickly, burst forth with blossom, and then die within a day or two. Clearly they are wild and rampant! They’re everywhere, see?
When my stepmom came over, I asked her about the flowers, confident she would confirm my wildflower theory. She’s a horticulture buff, runs a landscaping company, gardens and grows her own veggies, etc. Surely she will only validate my knowing of everything about flowers. Right?
These are not, she informed me, wild flowers. They’re a type of Rain Lily. They grow from bulbs and would only be in the yard if somebody deliberately introduced the flowers. Which is to say, the previous owners intentionally planted these flowers, and we have the good fortune of their continued thriving despite our best apathetic efforts to kill every green thing out there.
So I got to trade in my smug assumed knowledge for a glimpse into my house’s history and the lives of the folks who lived here before us. And after each rain storm, I can look outside to see the lovely, lush white flowers growing out of the brown and burned-out grass, and remember reality’s little lesson.