Earlier this year, as spring warmed into summer, I received a package of African violet leaves. No plants, or even seedlings. Just leaves, carefully labeled with the name of the variety. I placed each leaf in a little “seed starter” container with soil and a bit of water, then enclosed the leaves in plastic bags, creating a kind of mini greenhouse. When the leaves had sprouted roots, I removed the bags. Then, when they sprouted plantlets, I transplanted them into larger pots. Gradually, the plantlets became plants and, today, I’m delighted to say that one of those plants has already bloomed!
If you like gardening, you know the feeling of satisfaction in seeing carefully tended soil come to life with green and all sorts of colors. As a lupus patient, I have to avoid the sun, so I either garden minimally in the evening, or grow my flowers indoors. Leading up to this spring’s project with the leaves, I had all but abandoned my gardening. Too tired. Too achy. Too distracted by other things, I suppose. But then, I felt like nurturing something again, and, thus, the joy of seeing the first blossoms from my “crop” of African violet leaves.
The act of gardening has all sorts of wonderful metaphors attached to it. As with a garden, tending to health can nurture an abundance of beauty and feeling of accomplishment. Of course, gardening can have its problems: critters munching on seedlings, devastating weather (too hot or too rainy), and the inexplicable plant that somehow does not grow like the others (out of 20 leaves in the packet, one has never sprouted plantlets…go figure!). In life, we face obstacles and unexpected catastrophes, too. Yet, when we coax a bud to blossoming, or we get through a major crisis, oh! the joy!
I just had to share with you a picture of my little plant and its first blossoms. It still has a ways to go, as do the others (which will, no doubt, make their debut in subsequent blogs). But this bit of green and magenta reminds me, as I hope it will you, that sometimes it takes a long time to realize a goal or see a challenge through. But if we keep nurturing, doing the good thing at each step of the way, we truly can bring something wonderful to full flower.
Blessings for the day,