Lily's Flower Shop is a tribute to that quintessential Christmas plant, the poinsettia. In fact, the poinsettia is one of the few plants blooming at this time of year in the northern hemisphere. Native to Mexico and Central America, the poinsettia is a tropical plant that was introduced to the U.S. in the 1820's by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico.
Standing outside the flower shop is a garden gnome, who for some unknown reason, is unpainted. Next to the gnome is a young girl, all decked out in red. She seems to be looking right at the large poinsettia in the window and is wearing a huge smile. This ornament speaks to us of being in two places - outside, looking in, and inside, looking out. Where are you, in your Advent journey? Are you on the outside, feeling rushed, overwhelmed, disconnected from the meaning of Advent? Or are you on the inside, feeling separated from the festivities and those you love, stuck due to work, distance and other commitments?
The truth is, most of us go back and forth between both places. But it's the smile on the young girl's face that we should focus on to give a sense of peace. This time will pass, and spring will return once again. To the extent that we can, let's just enjoy being inside and outside, and try to be present in both.