Monday, October 28, 2013

Stop Shaking the Orchid

I feel a bit like Higgins from Magnum, P.I. No, I’m neither portly nor balding; I’m growing orchids. And they haven’t died yet. This is amazing when you think of it, because I’m not good at growing plants. They need water, and I tend to forget that. Or I leave them outside too long and they freeze from cold or burn in the sun. Or I follow the directions exactly and they still die.

But these orchids seem to grow in spite of me. And they’ve rebloomed—twice!

I’m supposed to cut them back once the last blooms fall off. I check the plant every day. I shake it to get the flowers to fall off. And—I think just to spite me—they remain on the stalk. So now what do I do? Do I wait until they fall off on their own? Do I cut the stalk back now? I love the beautiful flowers, but sometimes I’m too busy thinking about the next step, and too afraid of killing it, to really appreciate them.

In that way, growing my orchids is a bit like figuring out the priorities in life. I’m often stretched too thin trying to get my kids from one activity to another to stop and appreciate what they’re actually doing.

The piano lesson has to end on time or we’ll be late for the next activity—except, she’s playing the music so beautifully, I need to stop and listen for a moment.

You need to stop talking so that we can leave—only, you’re actually telling me something important and I need to listen to you.

So I think I’m going to practice not shaking the orchid and try to appreciate the present a bit more. Plenty of other people are late to activities and I haven’t seen anything terrible happen.

The blooms are pretty, so I might as well enjoy them while the plant is still living.


  1. Taking time to smell the posies :) Or in this case the orchids--I love it and it's great advice! And the flowers are beautiful!