Chartreuse Cape in My Closet — SheLoves

It’s always a joy to work with the grand people over at SheLovesMagazine. This is a small story about an old friend, who taught me a thing or two about living with flourish . . .DSC01291

My online dictionary gives two distinct definitions for the word ‘flourish.’ One has to do with thriving in a particular environment; the other has to do with colorful, sometimes startling, ‘ta-da’ gestures.

 My granddaughter is flourishing in the small Catholic school she attends.                                                                           OR
 My friend Nancy always adds a feather boa when she wants to say something  with a flourish.

At first glance, the verb and the noun seem to have little to do with one another. To flourish is to bloom, turn toward the sun, become more of who we’re meant to be. A flourish is a more momentary thing, maybe even a flashy thing – a gesture, a brightly colored piece of clothing, a pose.

When I did a little looking, however, I discovered that they are actually very closely related. The verb form is older (about 800 years old!) and came into English from an old French word meaning to blossom; the noun came later and used to mean a blossom.

So, I wonder . . . what does it mean to blossom? What does it mean to add a blossom to what we do, what we say, how we live?

My friend Kathy helped me understand both meanings of this word.

I first met her almost twenty years ago, soon after my husband and I moved to Santa Barbara. She was in her early 80s then, full of life, and living that life out loud and in full Technicolor. Tall, statuesque, with brilliant blue eyes, she moved with a dancer’s grace and spoke with verve and good humor.

She’d known my husband before I met her and when she discovered that I was a pastor, she wasted no time in asking if I ever preached. “About 8-10 times a year,” I told her. And the very next week, she called the church office, asking for a preaching schedule and for immediate notification when my name came up in the rotation.

And every time I preached, from that day until a few months before she died, she came to hear me. She’d leave her expensive home at the golf course, driving her beat-up, 20-year old Ford station wagon into the church parking lot. I could always see her coming into the back of the gymnasium where we worshipped in those days, and I’d watch as she would gently genuflect and cross herself  before the large wooden cross that hung at center court . . .

Come on over to SheLoves to read the rest of this story . . .

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