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Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Late Bloomer


Zipping through the grocery store the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the unmistakable products selling the holidays I could no longer ignore – heretofore, I have grumbled to myself about the commercialization of Christmas and I will not succumb.  But a stacked display of boxed red and white Amaryllis bulbs overcame my humbugging, and I bought a box holding a bulb for a bright red flowering plant. 

I should have read the instructions – which assured me with careful watering and plenty of exposure to sunlight, my Christmas “decoration” would bloom in six-eight weeks! So, when other holiday trappings are gone, the glorious red flower will be emerging – if I don’t mess it up.  The instructions warn: Beware of overwatering, shade, and cold. 

Our house has a southern exposure, so the shade that is a bonus in summer complicates growing indoor winter plants – so does my penchant to overwater houseplants.  There’s no way to force the bulb to bloom – it will take time, warmth and moisture.

So much for being a critic of commercialism – if I want plants booming in Christmas, buy them by Halloween!   

But my disappointment with natural seasonal decoration reminds me I can’t force anyone’s blooming, including my own.   

“Patience is a good servant whom all recommend, but few like to employ,” an anonymous sage observed. It’s what I want others to be!  Things take time . . . be patient . . . was counsel I have disregarded – forcing the outcome I wanted, often creating a mess.

The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it. --Arnold Glasow (20th century American humorist and writer)

Slowing down and reading the side of the boxed Amaryllis, might have changed my choice; being patient gives other people time to think about their choices. Rushing to tie up loose ends, so I can get on with whatever, may mean being stuck with the consequences.

A Chinese proverb says, “One moment of patience may ward off great disaster.  One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.” Good advice for impatient drivers – like me, and doubly caring counsel for parents whose children may need time and attention putting together the puzzles of their lives.  And for children whose parents are losing some puzzle pieces.  

Patience minimizes potential for injury – literally, emotionally and spiritually.    Having patience with others and myself is a sure antidote to anger and depression – and aimlessness that sometimes plagues us in our autumn gardens.  

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them -- every day begin the task anew. (Francis de Sales   1567-1622 )

How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
~William Shakespeare, Othello, 1604

There is a kind of joy thinking about a lush red bloom in the chilly gray of January. The joy is anticipating the bloom and never losing sight that,  “Patience is also a form of action, as well as a companion to wisdom.”  (Auguste Rodin, St. Augustine)

  • Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him. In Hebrew, "Be silent in God, and let Him mould thee." Keep still, and He will mould thee to the right shape. Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  • Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. --Proverbs 16:32 NIV
 Illustrator: Brenda A. Aiken

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