I stood in awe of the delicate pink flower, how it had found its way from the bulb through the very thin layer of soil to show its beauty and grace. It was personal to me. It had bloomed just for me!
On one of her short visits, my Aunt Winnie had presented me with this small terracotta pot with a bulb tucked down into it. “Here, Christine, plant this in a pot. It isn’t much of a hostess gift, but it will bloom just one pink flower. It’s very pretty.” The way she described it, I felt that she realized the specialness of it only blooming one rather than a splendor of buds.
I thanked Aunt Winnie and gave her a hug, then set the pot on the table of the back patio where we had settled. As the evening wore on, the little pot fell to the back of my mind where it stayed for a week or so. One day I looked down and out of guilt and shame, picked up the pot and brought it into my kitchen where I watered it profusely, then set it on my windowsill. Surely there I would not forget that I needed to repot it, so it would not die.
As weeks turned into months, every time I looked upon the little pot, I would pour some water on it and tell myself again that I HAD to get to that. I HAD to get that into a pot of soil! And then I would berate myself asking, “How would Aunt Winnie feel if she knew that I hadn’t taken great care to nurture the gift she had given me?” Surely she would feel I did not appreciate my gift.
Even so, the bulb still did not make it to fertile ground. I continued to give it the barest of nurturing and sustenance.
Then one day, I opened my kitchen curtains to see that while I was not looking, the pink flower had shot up out of the bulb about 10 inches and was reaching for the sun. The petals were soft and delicate, the stem thin but strong. I stood staring in amazement, awe – and guilt. I turned to my husband and said, “Oh my gosh, did you see this? This flower bloomed anyway! I didn’t even get it planted and it bloomed! I feel so awful. I should have planted it and nurtured it, but it bloomed anyway. “
Mike agreed that it was awesome that it had bloomed, and commented off handedly that it was pretty. Then he went about his business.
I stood staring at the flower and tears welled up in my eyes. I took it personally. It was apparent to me that the little flower wanted to support me, even if I hadn’t supported it. And I realized the message being sent to me.
The flower is now a reminder to me of the support that I have within. It is there for me even when I do not recognize it, nurture it or call upon it. It is the unconditional love of my soul.
Each day when I look at that pink flower, I am reminded that I have the strength, the power to heal and the love inside that I need to get through anything – even if the ground isn’t fertile and the water is sparse, I, too, can emerge and bloom.