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A Note of Hope from the Garden: One Plant, Many Blooms

Nourish, feed and care for yourself, and you will blossom too.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Here are just some of the things I love about sunflowers: 

  • They are taller than I am, but they are not trees.
  • Watching them grow into their towering fullness is an exercise in excited anticipation.
  • They teeter and tilt, but their stalks are very strong.
  • They nourish birds, butterflies, bees….and human beings.
  • A handful of this year’s seeds gets to grow into next year’s display.

For these reasons and more, I was delighted and grateful when a friend gifted me a potted sunflower for my birthday in May. I decided to plant it in a large container on my patio, and see how tall it would get.

As it started its climb, it was clear the plant was happy in its potted home. It was also clear that the variety of sunflower my friend had given me was not the typical giant. Instead, the plant branched and bushed, setting out multiple leafy stalks, each growing a spray of buds. In its sunny spot, with plenty of room to stretch out, the buds quickly opened up into inviting—if smaller than the dinner plate-sized flowers of the classics—cheerful yellow sunflowers.

The pollinators were as happy as I was. At one point, I clipped some blooms for a kitchen table bouquet and stopped to marvel that a bee gently alighted on the black center of the flower and set about its pollen-collecting work, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I was holding the blossom in my hands. Making myself very still, I took in the beauty of the scene from every angle:

  • The bee gathering nourishment from my cut flower
  • So many flowers still on the plant
  • At least a dozen buds awaiting their moment to unfurl
  • Me, finding the stillness I needed to feel the fullness of the moment
  • My friend, gifting me the opportunity to experience all of the above

Just as the one plant set off many blooms, I realized, that one moment was rich with positive attributes. And if that moment offered multiple invitations to grace and beauty, perhaps the next moment could too, and the moment after that. 

Not nearly for the first time, the garden had an unexpected and profound lesson to teach me. With just one plant, we can find many blooms in the gardens of our lives. 

What will you discover today?

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