Thursday, January 24, 2013

Waiting to blossom

Whether winter happens for you in December through March (and here in the Maritimes, it's more the end of April...) or June through August, the colder weather, the reduction in humidity, and especially the shorter days (and therefore less sunlight) can play havoc with people's moods and activity levels. There's a kind of pseudo-hibernation that seeps into the mind and sometimes even the body. 

Where I live, "cocooning" is very common. It's the tendency to hunker down inside the house and not go out except for necessities: groceries, gas, work, possibly church. People don't visit each other - or they have to make a special effort to do so. 

The last couple of months, I've been experiencing this kind of phenomenon more than usual. There's an almost imperceptible sense of being in suspended animation, of 'waiting' for something... sometimes not so patiently.  

About three years ago, I ordered a Hoya carnosa plant from a nursery in Georgia that specializes in those kinds of plants. They sent me three rooted cuttings and I planted them. ONE survived. It grew from a five-inch-long stem with three leaves on it to the size it is today, about four feet long from root to longest tip. 

This kind of plant has to be well established before it will bloom. So, I've been waiting and expecting it to produce bloom clusters - they fill the air with a heady fragrance that is intensified by the nectar that hangs in droplets from the center of each flower. So far ... it has not bloomed. I've seen signs that it's developing the "nibs" from which the flower clusters will eventually grow, but it's happening a lot more slowly than I'd like.

My Hoya - photo taken about three weeks ago

It is healthy; it is growing and sending out shoots, and the foliage is lovely. Yet I find myself wondering when it will blossom.

In a way, I feel like my life is like that plant right now. I know where I want to be, but it's like I'm in a state of pseudo-hibernation. I'm healthy and growing; I know I am ... but it seems the conditions are not right for flowering. 

I know that it will happen. I just don't know when. And there's a large part of me that longs for it to start happening NOW. 

What I need to understand about the plant is that it takes however long it takes ... and that in the meantime, I need to look after what's there. There may be only leaves, but maybe if I focus on keeping them healthy, Mrs. Hoya will surprise me. And the way I keep them healthy is by providing enough light, warmth, and the right amount of water and food to nourish the roots. 

The same applies to me. I just need to make it a priority to look after my growth needs, to nourish my roots (those parts of me that are hidden from view but which are crucial to my spiritual health) and to stay in the warm atmosphere of acceptance, and the light of unconditional love.

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