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I once knew a patch of Lily of the Valley that bloomed purely for love.

They had been living in my garden, where I had planted them five years prior, and had never bloomed. Every year in April, I watched them almost daily - beautiful little tendrils peeping out of the ground, then reaching up to become a luxurious patch of green. Every year in April, they came. But they had never once bloomed. After the third or fourth year, I just decided to enjoy my little garden of lil punk prom dresses ... y-leaves and be thankful.

My daughter's wedding was set for an evening in late May. The official portrait, though, was taken a month prior. Any of you who have ever planned a wedding or had the good fortune to be a mother-of-the-bride can relate to what the atmosphere was like around that time.

She chose every flower for her bouquet, and we needed two of them - one for the portrait and one for the wedding. Among her favorites was Lily of the Valley. The florist called at the last minute to say that they weren't available.

On the day of her portrait (which landed me in bed the next day with a migraine, but that's another story for another day), we scurried with the dress, the hair, the makeup, the bouquet and the bride - trying to get everything safely transported to the photographer's studio (my biggest worry being the dress - Italian silk with a long train - see my note about the migraine above.)

Once there, we were in process when we realized something had been left behind (can't even remember what), so I had to go back home. Literally running up the back path and back out again, I still to this day don't know why I thought to glance up toward the garden - but I did.

And there they were - blooming their little hearts out - the most beautiful patch of Lily of the Valley I had ever seen.

Later that day, they found themselves in a bridal bouquet. The portrait of them, and the bride, hangs in my foyer. I can't pass by that portrait without remembering their gift of love.

For more scenes from around the South, please visit my full page at www.facebook.com/BethYarbroughSouthernVoice . Door is always open.

Photo of this year's crop by Beth Yarbrough. They have bloomed every year since that day:-) Portrait of the bride appears in comments, below.

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