If you’ve never tracked a flower from bud to bloom, go out and buy yourself a plant right this instant. The process is nothing short of a miracle. Each second of the plant’s life is dedicated to the growth of these few buds and blooms. Whether the plant only blooms once or a thousand times in its lifetime is of no consequence. It doesn’t matter if it takes a week to fully blossom or a century. Each flower is sacred and important. The plant transfers all of its attention and energy into creating something beautiful…or at least interesting. You can literally see the plant change before your eyes. It is a thrilling thing to watch if you only have the patience to keep your eyes open.
While the annuals, perennials, and wildflowers set the standard for spring blooms, the flowers that struggle for life for decades or even centuries before blooming are the ones which fascinate me. Century plants and friends conserve their energy for years and nothing can convince them to bloom one second before they are ready. Their perseverance and steady momentum towards a goal makes it all the more exciting when they do finally bloom. Their rarity adds to their beauty more than any common pansy or daffodil. Long after the delicate wildflowers wither and fade, the flowering palms are in it for the long-haul. They survive years of draught, baking sun, temperature extremes, and the harshness of their surroundings in the hopes of one day blooming. And, if they live long enough, they always do. No matter how long it takes.
People seem to fall into these same categories. There are those who bloomed early and put together the pieces of their lives as far back as high school. They reached their peak and now tread water, enjoying the fruits of their early labors. There is no struggle or external stress, that’s true, but there is also no room for growth–no excitement in the unknown. Life just is how it is, and that’s how it will always be.
Conversely, there are those who are still fighting, molding themselves, constantly, recreating their lives, and being brave enough to hold off blooming until they are absolutely ready. Those are my heroes and who I hope to be. Who knows how they will bloom or what they will bloom into? Who knows the journey they will take to get there or what will happen along the way? There is excitement in the unknown–in the waiting and the expectation.
Some people bloom late. Some very, very late. But, they all bloom at some point. And the longer it takes, the more spectacular it is because of the extra toil, trial, and energy that went into the blooming process. So, bloom; but, bloom on your own terms. Bloom when you are ready.
#journeytohandstand challenge day 31: pike press prep. While this entrance still eludes me, I am daily cultivating the strength, confidence, and coordination for success. It won’t be long now before my toes will lift off the floor and float up to the sky without the helpful assistance of a wall. Until that day, I’ll keep patiently moving forward and continuing my journey. I’ll keep myself tight in bud until it’s time to bloom. I’ll console my slow and steady progress by enjoying the flowering of others and learning their stories and triumph and inspiration, even if it’s from a beautiful spring bloom pushing through cracks in the concrete. If these buds can blossom, then so can I.