An Orchid in the Window

You know the beautiful orchids that people often gift you, maybe when a loved one is in the hospital or as a host gift for a party? I’ve gotten my fair share of those orchids over the years. They are always so beautiful when I take them in my hands and then within a few weeks, the flowers have fallen. Within a few months, the whole plant is either overwatered or too cold or…you get the picture.

Don’t get me wrong. I have many plants that I don’t kill, but orchids have always been a challenge. The last time I received an orchid was in the fall of 2019. It managed to survive our move to the new house last spring and was still green, so I set it in the kitchen window. That’s it. I set it in the kitchen window and left it. I added one or two ice cubes a week to water it. I dusted the shiny green leaves. I occasionally asked it if it was okay.

One stalk remained on the orchid, but no sign of flowers. Still I persevered and kept up my simple care routine. Then one day a second stalk appeared and I noticed small shoots on the first stalk. I resisted the urge to do more for this orchid. I added support for the second stalk and waited.

To be honest, I wasn’t very hopeful. It took a lot of discipline to not intervene in the process of blossoming that was happening before my eyes. I watched as the buds got fuller and heavier and then one morning as I was making coffee, I realized that the orchid had bloomed. Within a couple of days another bloom appeared.

You can’t rush hope or healing or unfolding. Sometimes you have to wait patiently, resist the urge to forge ahead, allow space and time. The same goes for helping someone else through their unfolding or healing. You may offer sunlight, warmth and water. Bear witness and occasionally ask “Are you okay?”

As we move into a new way of being once again, may we be patient with ourselves.
May we learn to nurture the continuous unfolding of our hearts and minds with gentle kindness.
And may we remember to seek what nourishes us, relishing in the fullness of each moment.