In defense of geraniums

Such a morning it is when love leans through geranium windows - Laurie Lee

They were the definitive spring component, always a triumphant red. My mother’s geraniums, while never my favorite flower to look at, represented a door securely closing against winter. Humble at first, one plant grew into another within a matter of days, blooms burst into globes, stems cascaded out of window boxes, and petals carpeted the ground. Mom’s geraniums reestablished life’s dominance and habitually earned my respect. 

They thrived not independently but because of the steps she took to ensure their influence. During dewy mornings she plucked wilted petals and pruned leafy shoots. After dinner, she’d swat mosquitos with one hand and maneuver the watering can with the other. Well-established and robust by Memorial Day, it wasn’t unusual for her geraniums to flower well into October, impressively fending off even a frost or two.

It’s exactly what one would expect when love leans through.

In the pro-life movement, every day is Mother’s Day, as we work to support moms, inform women and, of course, love them through challenges. Due to the uncertainty posed by the pandemic, MCFL decided to forego our annual Rose Drive again this year, though we hope to hold it in October, Respect Life Month. In lieu of our Mother’s Day tradition, I write today to invite your participation in three alternate ways. Think of these as your opportunity to help establish long-lasting, triumphant blooms.

1. Design our billboard!

Just in time for summer road trips, MCFL is looking for creative ideas to engage minds and capture hearts -- in as few words as possible. What message do you think people need to see? What will grab their attention? Send us your best idea by May 23 (simply respond to this email or write to [email protected]). Who knows? Your clever brainstorm could save a life.

2. Wanted: stories about pro-life initiatives

Our summer magazine issue will feature news and updates from across the state. We want to know about the efforts you and your neighbors have organized or are planning. Success stories welcome! What’s working where you are? Tales of struggle and hoop-jumping are just as important. Let us know about the perceived impasse. Other readers might have new strategies you can try. Deadline for contributions: May 23. Send ideas to the email above. 

3. Support Massachusetts Citizens for Life

Billboards aren’t cheap. Publishing a magazine requires a few resources. Both are critical to our work and advance the life-saving mission we share with you. Gifts from our Mother’s Day Rose Drive served a critical purpose: they sustained MCFL through the summer months, typically the time of year when giving is lower. Your gift today will ensure that our work continues through the dog days. 

Moms, here’s to you today. I hope you’re reading this while enjoying breakfast in bed and successfully fighting the urge to reassemble the kitchen; pay no attention to the clangs and shatters you just heard. Dads, as my father used to say, she wouldn’t be a mom without you. Kudos! Kids, she gave you life. Use it in a way that protects the vulnerable lives of others. 

Our movement is winning. Across the country, our partners are passing one pro-life law after another. Here in Massachusetts, our influence is real. Day by day, because our love leans through, we are reestablishing life’s dominance. 

Enjoy your week.