Bloom and grow. . . at the right time
I just can’t resist another garden metaphor, one that once again fuels my belief that we can trust our children and their journeys.
I was recently out in our backyard — a particularly funky and eclectic space complete with a brick labyrinth in the middle, smatterings of creative iron and ceramic sculptures, amidst surroundings of a variety flowers and herbs — doing some planting. Actually my husband had done most of the important work and I was doing the fun stuff of planting the baskets, arranging things and watering. Anyway, I was smiling while noticing the different stages of blooming going on, some things that were in full bloom, and even some that had finished blooming already. Others were in the middle of opening or poking through, while some had the buds of promised blooming, or others whom I knew because they were my familiar perennial pals, had the expectancy of blooming later in the summer or fall. I couldn’t have foretold using a calendar exactly when they would bloom, that was still nature’s suspense, but it struck me how wonderful it was, how nice for all of us who would experience the garden at different times, even in the fall and winter, that something would always be blooming. And that how terrific it is that they all have their own time, that they are not all in bloom at once…and that some bloom even more than once in a season. Even flowers on the same plant or bush (family) were in a variety of stages of blooming. And then there are those that if you pinch off the full-bloom blossoms they will bloom again, or if we take off the top leaves of our basil it will bunch out and become fuller… mmmm, that smell of the basil!
I also remembered a card that a friend had sent my mom years and years ago, but that I still feel touched by from time to time. On its front it had a silhouetted photograph of three children all jumping up in the air reaching towards the sun, all at different levels…but all reaching toward the Light. Its message has stayed with me all this time, through the growing of my own children and a variety of students, reminding me that we are ALL reaching. It may appear as though we are all at different levels and in different venues, depending on the criteria we are using to measure or notice, or how deeply we are looking or what our expectations are…but what I love, what I KNOW, is that we are ALL reaching!
I was reminded today of a quote that I am paraphrasing big time…that the rungs on a ladder are not made for standing, but are there with the purpose of helping us to reach the next rung, and then the next…and finally our goal(s) at the top.
I think these visuals, virtual visuals, are all linked…at least they are for me in this moment. We all have our right time to bloom, and it is up to us to do so…our garden, our community, counts on it! Each individual flower’s, every strawberry’s, or any basil leaf’s expression and blossoming is important to its becoming itself. . . fitting into this seemingly random, but ever-so-perfect scheme, teaching us SUCH important things.
There sometimes seems that there is a bit of a time line, even a self-imposed pressure, to speed up or alter all of this blooming and growing –– in order to bloom or come to fruition before that first frost. But I have seen over and over that some just don’t do it then, or they may even skip a year, and guess what?… they are still okay! And then others are so “early” that they pop up while there is still snow in early spring…and even when no one is noticing…but it happens in its own way, and at its right time.
There are times when we give a tomato plant, morning glory, or nasturtium a trellis on which to lean upon for support; or we nourish a certain plant with plant food or fertilizer to help it along, or even use a pesticide to keep harmful creatures away…but I see that we need to be careful and be clear on our reasons for doing so, or we can actually damage the plant itself.
I see so many ways in which we can apply these ponderings to ourselves, to our children, and to our students, and am very grateful…for the many lessons from a garden.
. . . “Blossom of snow may you bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever. . .” from Edelweiss by Rodgers and Hammerstein
Photography by Jay Langlois