The other day, when I was preparing my post Me, the Tree, and Helen , I found, tucked away in my Helen Connon book, a thank you letter, from a very old, Helen Connon Hall Old Girl. It is a hand written note and closes with the lovely words, “Grace begets Grace.” The ending made me smile and remember the pleasant few hours I spent in the Old Girl’s company, listening to her stories of days gone by. She was a gracious hostess.
The words also made me smile for another reason; in fact, this time, I not only smiled but I chortled, as well, because it occurred to me that, in my back garden, I have a perfect, and down to earth, example of grace begetting grace, in the form of my Aspidistra. My Aspidistra is a descendant of a large and lovely Aspidistra who lived comfortably, and well, in a purple hued pot near the fireside in my grandmother’s living room. My grandmother called her Aspidistra, Grace, or more accurately, Gracie, after Gracie Fields who sang, The Biggest Aspidistra in the World; a hit song in 1938. Gracie lived by the fireside for decades and when my grandmother died, Gracie went to live in the home of a daughter in law where she thrived under tender, green fingered care, for more decades.
A few years ago, my aunt, perhaps feeling that my fingers had finally obtained a worthy, lighter shade of pale green, asked if I would like to care for some of Gracie’s great, great, great,and probably more great, Graces. I was only too happy to welcome some of Gracie’s progeny to my home.
Sadly, my little Graces don’t have a fireplace to warm them; they have to live in the rough and tumble outdoors and ,sometimes, this leaves them a little bedraggled. But I love them dearly and, more than that, I love that this simple plant has graced our family for at least 70 years and maybe longer, according to some versions of our family history. How amazing is that! And, imagine, what stories our old Gracie and her Graces could tell of our lives.