In the Pink

My mother in law used to call them pyjama lilies, a big headed pink and white striped amyaryllis, Crinum kirkii. I found two pairs precisely like this in the mitumba last week: pjs. And I couldn’t resist the saccharine temptation; I bought them. One for Ant, one for me so that now we match as candy coloured cane.

They pop up as the rains begin so I stumbled upon them blooming on a walk last week.  The lilies. In the past I’ve dug them up and tried to transplant them in my garden but they never flourish. It’s as if they refuse to be tamed and die if you try to tuck them into the order of  conventional beds.   They only thrive in the wild.

I think of her every time I see them – my mother in law. Neville. She was extraordinary. Possessed of an incredible joy and graceful acceptance of an often difficult life. And she adored people.  All sorts of people. Everybody had a story worth hearing.

People didn’t remember Neville because she commanded the room’s attention with her talk. They remembered her because she was a great listener. 

I think there is a quiet understated, important lesson there …

One Response to “In the Pink”

  1. edf Says:


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