I find her in the most unexpected places, in the most unexpected times, just when I need her. She’ll be there, quiet and serene, not judging or pointing her finger.

She’s just waiting for the chance to hug me. And to take me to her Son, who will heal me (and hold me) as often as I need it.

In that first iris, the one that seems to be blooming way before all the rest of the irises around our house, I saw peace.

I’ve been reflecting on peace a lot this weekend. That was supposed to be a focus for me this year.

Peace has come to be an umbrella for me, protecting me from the onslaught of life.  Maybe a better image is that of a special shield all around me.

(Yeah, I know, I’m quoting myself. But I needed that picture of peace, so maybe you do too.)

In that solitary iris, I saw a glimmer of something I had almost forgotten in a recent mental funk: peace.

I find it, so often, when I curl up in Mother Mary’s lap and let her stroke my brow. I find it when I turn to her holding my blankie prayer crumpled in my fist. I find it in the sudden unexpectedness of spring.

She’s there, in that iris, as the Lady of Sorrows, and she reminds me of the many family members I hold close in prayer (whether they know it or not).

One blooming flower made all the difference for me on that day of mental funk.

One flower.

Looking at the pineys (which you might call peonies) waiting to burst and the bleeding hearts starting to explode, I know Mary is out there, in my garden, smiling at me.

The question is not if she’s there. The question is…will I choose to see her?