Are you a fixer/do-er, or laid back? Do you wait to see what the world will bring you next, appreciating whatever rocks up, or do you go out and assume your own destiny? Which is right? Can we find happiness in either or how do we find a balance of both?
Around 9 years ago, i bought 2 lily plants from a supermarket. Lovely ones with a beautiful creamy white flower each, an abundance of fleshy, forest green leaves, in sweet little pots perfect for the window ledge.
As happens, flowers do not last forever, so when they wilted away i trimmed them, dutifully carried on watering and feeding, awaiting the day i would be rewarded with flowers again. Well… months passed, nothing, months became years. I persevered, reading about moving them somewhere darker, somewhere brighter, giving less water, more water, talking to them, all sorts.
Eventually, i found a post on a forum that let me know i was not alone, i hadn’t bought duds, i had done nothing wrong with them. It said that sometimes, being forced to grow to a specification so as to be perfectly presentable at the time of purchase, they simply are out of sync with their natural growing rhythm. The post suggested to accept and enjoy them for the beautiful foliage, let them be.
I did just that, i accepted that i may never see them flower again, but while they were healthy i would take pleasure in their vibrant green foliage and leave them to their own agenda. Roll forward 5 years from purchase. During watering, i noticed a new leaf unfurling, nothing unusual, except, it was white… i tried not to become over excited at the prospect of a flower in case my eyes were playing tricks, however, the next day, there it was, in all its glory… a single flower!
I was overjoyed. I had persevered to change this plant, then accepted it for what it was, expected nothing more than it was willing to give, enjoyed years of gorgeous green, now it was happy enough with itself that it showed its hidden talent.
Of course i gave it a little help after that, shaking the seed over the other plant after the flower died back, but telling it it’s okay if it doesn’t work. But it did. Flowers appeared on the other, then more on the first plant. Now, i am happy to report that i get to see multiple flowers on both plants regularly. But no pressure on either, if they stop flowering, i’m okay with that, and they know it.
So, how does this help us with the question of perseverance or acceptance?
Personally i think it’s about finding the right balance, being in tune with the natural world so you can feel what is needed when. We cannot simply switch off and let nature take it’s course all of the time, or we would be in a sorry state, but, sometimes we need to persevere a little, then take a step back, see the beauty in something as it is, saying it’s okay, until it reaches out to us again. Find the balance, the help, the calm, the harmony. Oh and go find some houseplants… they’ll help you figure it out!