Gladiola among the poppies

Gladiola bulbs in my front yard shoot up green spearlike leaves every summer, but they don’t bloom every year. Many years, the leaves are all I get. But when they do bloom, the tall salmon-colored flowers outshine everything in the garden.

We childless women are like those gladiolas. Unlike the poppies that consistently fill my garden every summer and fall and are now blooming from the cracks in my driveway and hanging out over the sidewalk, the gladiolas rarely reproduce. Perhaps it’s because I’m a negligent gardener or because the weather is too intense here. I get one bloom per plant and then it disappears, but oh that flower is special.

Maybe the book I’m reading, Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha, has influenced my thoughts today, but I find myself content with things as they are. My life, although different from that of most people, a puzzle to my family and friends, is exactly what it was meant to be. I have never followed the usual path, and that’s okay.

Instead of bemoaning our lack of children, let us consider that you and I are gladiolas, unique and glorious all by ourselves.