Even in our lovely climate, petunias are considered an annual. When the crisp frosts of winter come, the South American native usually withers and dies... usually.
For the past several years, there has been at least one petunia that survives the winter and begins blooming very early in the spring. The petunia of the summer of 2007 that survived was a pale lavender shade. Then this white petunia of the summer of 2008 has survived not one, but TWO winters. It defies all reason. Particularly this one, as it is in a flower pot out in the middle of the garden unsheltered and open to the elements.
When I first discovered the "miracle of the petunias" in my garden just before Easter 2008, I wrote:
Every year when spring comes, I find at least one miracle that draws my mind back to the promise of new life. This year it was a petunia that wintered over through numerous frosty nights in a little pot at the base of the birdbath. It never let go of life. It hung on and is now in bloom again. It's exuberance and tenacity have reminded me that despite the bitter times in life, if we are rooted in a good place we will weather life's winters. We will come through alright and be able to bloom again... [T]here is no way that the miracles of my own life and the miracles of humankind's existence in general could happen unless there was a loving Creator that made it so by His powerful hand. Just as the petunia is blooming again and as Christ rose again from the tomb on the third day after being crucified, I can bloom again after each challenge in life and ultimately have the promise of "blooming" one last time to enjoy a resurrected body myself and live for eternity with those I love.I am thankful that once again, I have the miracle of the petunias in my garden to remind me of the blessings that are and will be mine if I persevere--blessings that come because my Savior gave His life for me and everyone else in the world.