Learning A Lesson
Posted on May 12, 2014

All change requires a bit of adaptation. That is a given, but it is one of which we need to keep reminding ourselves. I have learned a big lesson from my African violets. Let me tell you about them.

I am NOT a plant person. (I had killed a philodendron in a previous existence, so I had banned plants from my office. A rare gift of one was quickly passed on to a more deserving keeper.) One day, a bit grudgingly, I accepted an African violet. For 3 years it sat on my bookcase. It had leaves, quite a few of them, but no flowers ever appeared. I called it my fate.

Two summers ago I gave it to a co-worker to tend for the summer. When he returned it, there was one flower which rapidly became many more. The recipe was that it needed to be a bit closer to light. Somehow, the plant and I reached an accommodation, with a few daily rays of late afternoon sun touching the pot. It thrived and produced a child, which had to be transplanted. I felt a certain pride in "my" accomplishment. Then, Marble moved and so did my plants.

When I returned in September, I and my African violets were in a new building and there was no longer access to the afternoon sun. Now I looked to the east and my 10th floor got rays for a brief spell in the early morning. I had words with the violets, but they turned a deaf ear. Dutifully, I continued to water them. The leaves grew, but no buds appeared. I spoke more lovingly. No results.

The weeks turned into months and I adjusted my pots this way and that, both mother and child. Nothing but leaves --- until, one April morning, I saw a tiny bud and stem working its way upward on the younger plant. The flowers burst forth. I encouraged the older "mother" to imitate her offspring, but she resisted until last week when I found a wee bud ever so slowly growing. I came in today and found a veritable army of them.

The lesson is so obvious, isn't it? We all adjust at our pace, not someone else's. Change requires getting used to the new and finding life there.

I know we all have parallel tales, so you can think of yours while I give my violets a big thumbs up!


Allison on May 14, 2014

In the past year, I was let go from my job of 37 years--- I was told "we just have no use for you, anymore", my father died in September and now, I am caring for my mother who has dementia. I never saw my life looking like this at this time in my life. I am single, with no children and my "friends" have totally deserted me. I have had to make a lot of adjustments , not only in my every day routine, but in my ability to forgive and take things day by day. It's still a work in progress.

Art Gould on May 14, 2014

What a wonderful way to think of the development of our students. How different is their rates of maturation and yet, given time, they do blossom.

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