The Lone Azalea


The Lone Azalea

On a side street of the historical district of a town near where we live there is a small house nestled between two larger two-storied homes. One of my dearest friends lives in this small house. It was built in 1904 by the man who founded the Pepsi Cola company. He built her home and a number of the homes in the historic district for his employees. Her home is absolutely charming, clean as clean can be and filled with a deep sense of peace.

The old home is built of sturdy timber. Sounds from the street or from anywhere else for that matter do not come through into the home. Though small and built in the old shot-gun style of home my friend has managed, over the years, to build in qualities that are as much spiritual as pleasing to the eye.

I sleep in the tiny back bedroom when I visit. I sleep there in deep comfort. It is rare for me to sleep in deep comfort. I treasure my time in that home and with my friend. She babies me and treats me like a princess. She is in her eighties and I am in my sixties. She is spry and full of life and I am an exhausted caregiver grateful for the respite.

There is a small porch at the front of her home with a swing and a chair or two. She has planted pansies and a variety of other plants in the front. The back piece of her property is lovely with large azaleas and several forms of greenery.

In the front of her home and on the right side of the porch, if facing her house, there is a lone azalea bush. There are no leaves on the bush. There are many flowers. It blooms as the other azaleas are beginning to fade. The wind catches this particular azalea bush swaying the limbs with their beautiful, fuschia blooms slowly back and forth. It stands out from everything else in front or in the back. Though there are no leaves and though it stands alone it is bold and hypnotic in its' beauty.

If I live to a ripe old age I will remember this home, the woman who lived there in such peace with her husband and then without him when he passed away. I will remember our times together and our conversations. I will remember her loving care of me and my acceptance of her care.

And, at the end of each memory, I will see that lone azalea bush covered in fuschia flowers swaying in the wind.

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Lillie Fuller

so wonderful to have such a friend! an angel on earth. someone with whom you can leave the deepest sorrows and joys of your heart. this is beautiful Lark. thank you for sharing. and.. I love azaleas!