Welcome to the Hearth

Welcome to the Hearth

Friday, January 4, 2008

Faithful waiting and tending has it's rewards




There she was, just waiting for me to notice. Each morning when I have fixed my one, perfect cup of coffee, I make the trip to the window sill to see if the orchid has bloomed. I have been waiting for a good 3 months from the time I noticed that the strange looking tendril that had begun to grow, didn't look the same as the other ones that were air roots. I don't know much about orchids, nor do I particularly remember when this one became a member of the household. (I think it came when friends came to visit Cindy before she died, which was five years ago.) This poor little plant sat for a long time on the window sill. I would water it faithfully, but it never grew or seemed to change, or in any way respond to my ministrations. I one day moved it to a window overlooking the ocean and from that time on, the leaves, all two of them, began to imperceptibly grow. So, every day as I went to look out at the world with my one, perfect cup of coffee, I would talk to the orchid and try to encourage it. After a while it looked like it needed a bit bigger pot of bark. I decided to put the new plastic pot inside of a delicious maroon colored pot to dress it up a bit. I remembered my brother, who is a genius at growing orchids, once saying that you put the water in the outside pot and the orchid would take the water in from the bottom. So, anyway, I did that. Soon the orchid began to put out this tendril and I thought that since it was growing way out beyond the rest of the other more "naralie"looking tendrils, that it had to be a flower stalk. Sure enough, little buds began to appear and little by little and ever so slightly they plumped up. Watching this dear little soul has helped me learn a little bit more about patience. There is no way to make this thing move along any faster, it has just taken it's own sweet time. Then, just yesterday, it happened. Almost when I wasn't looking, it unfurled one of it's buds and surprised me. It's the faithful waiting and careful tending, somehow deep inside knowing that what I do matters, that one day does show up and delight. I found that I didn't go about this with the usual approach of reading up on or taking classes and fortifying my faith with some outside illusion or expertise. I just believed that if I paid attention and loved this little mystery in a pot, that one day, the little shy soul would open up and sing her song. I guess this is how some of my best ideas come about too, by just doing the faithful tending and care, waiting with an innocence and a surrender to the process. I wonder if any of you have noticed that about people or projects, ideas or notions that you believe in that one day when you least expected it, surprised and delighted you with beauty, or awesome wonder? I think that is possibly how it works with The Creator, too. I'm almost positive that we each have caused THE HOLY ONE, from time to time, to blurt out: "O My God! Awesome!

7 comments:

thailandchani said...

I absolutely believe it works that way with people. There's such a big difference between nurturing and controlling. We can't make the river flow any faster and I don't think we should do it with people, either. The most we can do is stand by and provide a buffer, make sure they have what they need (emotionally speaking) and let them grow into their own nature.

Dandelion seeds said...

we have two rescue dogs-a weim and a weim mix. both of us (my husband and I) are fairly selfish (I don't mean that in a bad way-we are ones that like our time and our money to do with what we want) and we managed to get two fairly high maintenence animals. One of them was severely neglected and sick to boot. They take training and as neither my husband or I owned dogs prior to these two, the training is a mish mosh hit or miss collection of tips and ideas we've learned from a variety of dog owners, trainers, websites and -of course-the dog whisperer :-)

anyway, I get a trial in patience constantly as I try to train these two. Over and over again. And then one day, they just get it and respond appropriately. It fills my heart. Your post helped me see what good lessons there are in these seeming trials.

thank you.

Elspeth said...

This is so true and just what I wanted to read right now. Thanks.

lucy said...

it is so interesting to read this today after just last night reading a chapter in John Sanford's "Dreams: God's Forgotten Language" which spoke about orchids. he compares the qualities of orchids to those of the self: individual and unique.

you have captured well here the aspect of the tender caring for the orchid without a recipe or prescription. it seemed like an intuitive process for you laced with much patience. it seems to me that that is what is required of us to grow ourselves...listening, intuition & lots of patience!

sometimes we are the beautiful blossom and other times the scraggly tendrils.

Kikipotamus said...

Oh, she is beautiful. I have been dreaming of an orchid for a long time and Sylvain keeps asking if I want him to buy me one. I tell him yes, as a house warming present when I get my own place. Now I read this here and I feel even more bonded to my future orchid, wherever she is.

Carla said...

Oh Kathryn, thank you. Once again your words quietly bow my head. I feel like that orchid, with God as my patient caretaker. Your last sentence moved me to tears: "I'm almost positive that we each have caused THE HOLY ONE, from time to time, to blurt out: "O My God! Awesome!" It is what I -- my whole life -- tried to get from OTHERS and just this year finally "got it" that I've been looking in the wrong places! Where I really need it from is God -- and my Self!

You rock my world and I'm so glad!

The Dream said...

Lovely and loving post, Sister Kathryn. I have an exquisite orchid plant a mere five feet away from where I sit ... and she is gorgeous right now. Actually, she flowers TWICE a year and the blooms last for a long while. She arrived in my life soon after I had a full hysterectomy. She was so small with a single, thin flowering branch when she showed up at my house, and now, she is hearty with thick twisting stalks - beautiful and thriving! She represents MUCH to me.