It was too late when I realized I had no centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.
We weren't having company, so at first I told myself it didn't matter.
But then I realized it did matter. A centerpiece would make the table look more festive ... less like every other day. More like the holiday it was.
I needed, wanted to find something.
Not an easy task in Maine, mid-November where the landscape shifts to varying shades of brown, tan, and taupe ... with a dash of pine. Not exactly the colors you'd list for a holiday bouquet.
But I wondered.
Maybe, just maybe, I could pull something together with what remained of my garden beds (a generous term for any and all growth surrounding the house). So I walked down the front steps and around to the left where I found evergreen leaves on the azalea bush.
A good start.
Moving to the back, the deep brown globes that sat at the center of the once-vibrant black-eyed Susan greeted me like festive pom-poms.
The delicate star-tipped sprigs of what remained of the Queen Anne's Lace offered themselves to me before I turned to the arborvitae for a touch of green.
Things were coming together.
Rounding the final corner back toward the front of the house, the burning bush flickered for attention. Its few remaining leaves flaming out in orange, red, and yellow. The final touch.
Extending my right arm to look at what I had gathered, I was so surprised with what I found.
And I suppose that's the lesson.
We may not always have what we want, but if we look, really look, chances are we'll find something. And that something maybe just be even better than we'd imagined.