Risky business

“Blooming is risky business-just ask any flower.” Anonymous

When the temperature crawled to two degrees, I happened upon a blossoming Kalanchoe brought in the night before October’s first hard frost. The plant bloomed faithfully all summer. My best hope was for her to survive the winter inside the house and reinvent herself next season.
But a golden yellow blossom caught my eye—in March, she’s blooming away like nobody’s business. I couldn’t find the source of the risky business quote, but whoever said it shared succinct wisdom. Putting ourselves out there is risky business at any age, but re-inventing ourselves in a second or third stab at using our gifts can be daunting.
Blooming takes energy—common knowledge among gardeners. That’s why we nip off flowers when we transplant, to allow the roots more chance to thrive. And roots are the foundation of everything good that comes from growing things.
My Grandma’s rosebush, delicate pink, thrived well into old age, though I doubt she took much time to nurture it. But I heard lately that burying fat in whatever form—bacon grease, throw-aways from a cut of beef—near a rose helps it flourish. Maybe the leavings of Grandma’s frying pan reached that bush. But I digress.
Late blooming—seemingly out of season—can be so meaningful. Those Kalanchoe flowers, hidden away in a neglected corner, brought me hope for spring. Some of us tucked away our deepest passion years ago—we thought we didn’t have what it took to carry through with our dreams, thought no one would read what we wrote, or listened to naysayers who shortchanged our art.
That’s not everyone’s story, but it is mine, and I’m finding that everything in my background has led me to this moment. Now I know what I felt deep-down all along. We’re born to tell our stories, no matter what anyone says, and everyone deserves a hearing.
Recently I read another fitting quotation: “This Is Your Time.” Four simple, straightforward words, but they stood out to me. For late bloomers, they’re zapped with empowerment. We may have thought our blossoming time was past, but we were wrong.
Something inside my wintering kalanchoe plant must have whispered, as March blizzards beat against a nearby window, “It’s still your time, old girl.” And so she bloomed, which is my intention for my writing, too.

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