It seems my black-eyed Susans have been slow blooming this year, because I’ve admired them on other blogs and in other (mostly town) gardens. They are no less brilliant, though, and no less smile-inspiring, for their hesitation to bloom. (And, admittedly, since these are a whopping year old, I have a tough love policy – you’re a perennial, your roots go deep, and I don’t water you (though I will try to keep you (mostly) free from weeds), despite near-drought conditions.)

I have two Susans in my life who are dear to me, and as these black-eyed beauties start their smiling festivities in my yard, I can’t help but say a prayer of thanksgiving for these two wonderful women who have shared so much with me from their own lives. One of them is family, and the other might as well be. Both of them have grieved much in their lives, and laughed much in their spare time. They both make me think outside my realm of experience, and they both make me laugh in ways I never imagined I could (in many ways, because of their tales of their big families).

This year’s crop of black-eyed Susans will keep me praying and thinking of my two Susans, and thanking God for the wonderful ways He has of weaving joy into the fabric of my existence.