Saturday, March 5, 2016

...foolish things and patience...

You will do foolish things,
but do them with enthusiasm.

Last month I attended an Orchid Show and purchased a beautiful little friend whom I have proceeded to knowingly torture :-/ I don’t write this lightly because we all do foolish things… and I knew better.

The Paphiopedilum Sukhakulii “prefers a moderate amount of sunlight so it will actually need to be moved from this place on the windowsill (which faces south) to the other window which faces east.”

And guess who proceeded NOT to move the Paph Suk? This girl *points finger to self*

I had all the excuses too. “It’s been overcast and isn’t too sunny”… then we were hit with some sunny days but how should I know?!? I get up and leave for work before the sun rises and I’ve been arriving home after dark. While I knew I wasn’t placing my new friend in its optimal environment, apparently the third most common mistake for growing orchids (overexposure to sunlight), I liked the little montage that I had created and I was being lazy. Moving the orchid to the East window would mean that the curtain wouldn’t close and the street light would come in the window rather brightly. There are solutions to such things but again- Lazy…Me… This Girl.

The bloom became crispy. As soon as I noticed it, I moved the orchid but it was too late. Fortunately, I had not burned the leaves.

Then, the next day, the bloom fell off and I felt sad… not because the orchid is dead; it isn’t. I was sad because I hadn’t paid attention. I think that’s the most important part of gardening—keeping a watchful eye.

My fella asked, “What are you going to do?”
My response, “Make things right and wait.”
“When will it bloom again?”
“When it’s ready”

Amy Tan writes, “I did not lose myself all at once. I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings on stone are worn down by water.”

When a gardener doesn’t pay attention to her plants, they don’t bloom (or in this case, the bloom falls off). The same message can be applied to ourselves. When we’re not keeping a watchful eye on ourselves, we don’t bloom or grow, and sometimes we even start to shrivel. Most things in life don’t get fixed in a day. It requires patience and work. One doesn’t diet for a week and lose 15 lbs; one doesn’t exercise for an hour and build muscle. If you rubbed out your face yesterday, be sure to practice self-love today. If you ate that extra cookie last night or drank one too many glasses of wine, be mindful of your choices today. If you placed your orchid in the wrong window sill, place it in the correct one today.

And know that it’s okay to be a little sad about your poor choices… just don’t dwell there too long. Picking a bad partner doesn't mean that you'll always pick bad partners; not being selected for a job that you thought was perfect doesn't mean that you won't find a perfect job. We've all given up on ourselves or our dreams from time to time. That's part of being human. Just be sure to not give up on such things forever.

It’s also good to fall back on what you know. I have a happy, healthy Phalaenopsis orchid correctly placed in the right window. I've had him for two years now so I bought him another friend.

Have patience. Flowers always return (unless a small animal eats the plant but since I'm writing about indoor plants that’s a completely different worry and a completely different blog post ;P ).


  1. Very true. No one is perfect, and most mistakes can be either corrected or atoned for. Thanks for the reminder! :-)

  2. This is a lovely post that I am going to save for the next time I need this reminder.

  3. I love this post and your attitude. Beating ourselves up over a mistake or an oversight is pointless.

    1. Especially when there's still time to ameliorate the situation.

  4. I like the sentiment of this post. But orchids are notoriously sensitive plants, don't beat yourself up! I have 4 because people keep giving them to me, but I would never in a million years buy one for myself. I like things like hibiscus, which you can't over-water and that tell you (by sagging its leaves) when it needs water - you can't do wrong!

    1. Don't get me wrong; I love my hibiscus and soon I'll be outside obsessing over the reinforcement of their stalks. It's the wind damage here that will snap a stalk full of beautiful flowers. I love growing plants because it teaches me to be mindful and to listen. The orchids are just a new fun challenge.