Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Expectations and Disappointments and Novels

Today on my walk I took some time to stop and smell the honeysuckle. The yellow-flowered vine groped a wooden arbor and leaned against a fence along the sidewalk where my little dog and I meandered.

I held my expectations in check as I approached the flowers because while honeysuckle are known for their sweet and fragrant blooms, they don't always deliver on their promise. Take for instance the honeysuckle vine that used to grow in my yard. That's it in the photo. It was beautiful and seemingly healthy, but the flowers were lacking in fragrance. It was a huge disappointment. The previous vine in my yard died, and this beautiful replacement had no aroma.

Despite being beautiful and healthy, my honeysuckle did not satisfy. It didn't live up to my (reasonable) expectation that it would perfume my backyard with a heady fragrance.

And therein lies the lesson. Not every beautiful, desirable, or useful thing will live up to our expectations. Often when we least expect it, something (or someone) will be a huge disappointment.

Since I'm fond of letting my imagination have free rein while I walk, today I considered what kind of novel could be written that would incorporate this lesson. And my mind is churning up all manner of ideas . . .

Oh, and if you're wondering about the fate of that fragrance-free vine, it's no longer growing in my yard. An Aspen shoot volunteered to grow alongside it, and since I had to make a choice, I chose the tree.

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