Narcissus and Onions

Narcissus and Onions

By The Rev. Lucinda S. Duncan

This week I gave Bob a big bowl full of narcissus bulbs to take to his office at the Fenn School.  It would be cheery, I thought, for him to have some flowers in February.

In less than two hours after he had placed the bowl on the window side table, five eighth grade boys had stop by to ask him a math or scheduling question.  Each on had noticed the bowl.  And each one in remarkably similar phraseology, had asked him, “Why are you growing those onions in a bowl of rocks?”

Now I love a good laugh when I hear one—and that one is funny. But I also know that there are times—perhaps even extended periods of month or years – when we look over at what life has give us and see not narcissus bulbs, ready to emerge in all loveliness, but a bunch of unsightly onions in a bowl full of rocks.

If that is where you are, or where someone you love is, I want you to know that all beauty takes time to emerge.  All loveliness needs darkness to become formed.  All deep roots need rocky terrain to become so firmly established that what they support cannot be toppled.    And all of us have times in our lives when it doesn’t matter WHO tells us that we are looking  at narcissus bulbs:  all we can see, or even meant to see, are those funny looking onions growing in a bowl of rocks.

To live in faith is to believe, even when you cannot justify it, that you are loved, that you are forming anew, and that beauty and right relationship will come forth—like the greening of rock—bound narcissus bulbs—as time goes by.  Hang on, keep forming, and oh, by the way, try to have a laugh or two along the way.