A Blossom Can’t be Forced


If you all remember my post about “Watering a Stick”  I spent weeks–to be exact–nine months watering my orchid–a stick–patiently and lovingly, waiting for my orchid.

What you don’t know, there was a first bud, a beautiful plump bud, and one day while moving the stick into the sunshine, my hand brushed against the bud and knocked it off, tumbling to the floor.  I swear, I almost cried and had one of those crazy moments where you think, “I’ll glue it back on.  It’ll be okay.”  I was devastated.  My family heard me perseverate about the loss of that bud for days. Then within a week I had several more buds to replace it.

I knew I needed to do a post about it blooming, but I couldn’t decide where this would go…there was a lesson, and a moral for the last story.

What is the moral for this one? 

This hasn’t been a good year — there has been a lot of chaos and….issues.  So, the orchid breaking forth with buds was during a dark time. A time when I wasn’t even sure I cared anymore and found myself wondering why I even took the time to water the stick. For what purpose?  Did it matter? Would my life be better once it bloomed? And I knew that a blossom can’t be forced. I just needed to wait. Did I want to wait? Would the reward be worth it?

But once the buds appeared, the joy was overwhelming some days. The promise behind those little buds, brought such excitement. I found myself caring more than I probably should have about my orchid blooming. I would drag it to sit in indirect sun every day, watering it every Saturday (without fail) with water just above body temperature, setting the timer for 10 minutes and letting it soak in the warm water allowing it to seep into the roots. Then I’d dump the water out, letting the pot drain in the sink for a half hour (setting the timer again) before placing it back into it’s container, giving it sunshine again.

Many days I think I may be in the “watering the stick” phase and am waiting for the buds and blooms to appear.

I don’t know how many of you (or if any of you) are feeling like this or remember a time when you felt like this, but watching the process for these blooms has been a real life lesson. On the recommendation of a friend, I’ve download a book called The Orchid Thief, which chronicles the wonder of orchids and the black market associated with the growing and selling of orchids, along with the almost maniacal and magical care required by these sturdy  yet fragile plants.

I’ve been told it’s rare to have an orchid rebloom and to not take the skill lightly, and it made me reflect, thinking upon what life lessons there were to learn about this process.

What should I glean from this labor of love, this nurturing and caring of a plant; the patience required with no visible reward??

I believe the lesson for me–and many of us:  Remember, there are times when you are a stick or when you are in bud form, and even still, when you are blooming.  Many days we know what phase we’re in, but I argue, there are times when we don’t realize that the buds are near the surface and for all the world we believe we are just a drab (possibly dying) stick.

No hope, no promise, and not even sure anything of worth is occurring.

Do I have what it takes to make it?  Maybe I can’t recover? Maybe I don’t know how to make something beautiful anymore? Am I capable of beauty any longer? Is the stick dead? Is it alive? Is it a non-blooming orchid? Do I appear to be alive, but am truly dead?

And then with the hope and promise of beautiful yellow buds, the realization hits.  I have no choice in this — we move forward, step after step, nurturing and feeding our souls and spirit, and when we least expect it…it happens.  We bloom, we break forth and the flower doesn’t care about other flowers or fears or anxiety or even the weather…it just blooms, because someone cared. It happens when it’s time.  A blossom can’t be forced.

I don’t know where you are today or what’s going on…hell, I’m not even sure where I am today or what’s going on, but know this. We’ll bloom.  With a bit of sunshine, warm water, and perseverance, one day the buds will appear and it will happen.

 

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