The Art of Patience

Hello from Ohio:

As many of you know, I’m an avid gardener and love spending time with my perennial flowers. It’s truly relaxing and when I’m digging in the dirt, it’s one of the best ways for me to think about my stories. I love a good plant “challenge” and I’ve encountered several over the years, but the biggest one was from “the orchid.” For years, I limited my indoor flowers to African violets and Christmas cacti. (I’m talking eight or ten violets at any time, and the same amount for the cacti.) Do they bloom? Of course. They’re beautiful. I understand exactly what they need and I’m vigilant.

And then I decided to try an orchid. I bought one, brought it home and admired the delicate beauty. It lasted all of three weeks, before, one by one, the flowers shriveled and died. Apparently, I gave it too much attention. Too much attention? I’m a nurturer—there is no such thing as too much attention. I asked for another orchid for Christmas. I got three. Oh, they lived a while, but then the flowers died off, too, leaving me with sticks. I almost threw them out because I was disgusted, but friends gave me advice. Leave it alone. Don’t give it too much attention. Don’t water too much. Be patient. I took my inability to make the darn thing bloom personally. But I listened to the advice and moved the “sticks” to an empty bedroom and left them alone. I visited once a week, watered…waited. Fourteen months later and ta-da! I’ve got a bloom. The other orchid is full of buds! Patience and persistence, the mantra I use in writing seems to work with orchid growing, too!

Mary

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