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Miracle Grow


I purchased this orchid at a grocery store in Massachusetts four or five years ago. Apparently, it had blossomed, died back, and was eventually placed on the clearance rack. Its value was reduced because it was no longer pretty to look at it. Since my heart goes out to any neglected creature, even an orchid that only has two leaves and a couple of aerial roots, I had to take it home.


It's lived at my home in Massachusetts and also spent some time in my office at work. It moved with us to Georgia where it grew a few more roots and a new leaf. Then it went with us to North Carolina. Now it lives on our windowsill here in Maine.


I have no idea what kind of orchid or what color it is. It's healthy but does not blossom. Shortly after getting this orchid, I bought another at the same grocery store, a phalaenopsis, that regularly produces white flowers. The fact that this one hasn't blossomed in all this time makes me think of an old stray cat that will eat the food you've been putting out every day for months but still won't have anything to do with you.


Then, a couple of days ago I found this!

After all this time it has buds! Not knowing the type of orchid, it took years of trial and error to find the correct combination of light, humidity, and food it required but I finally got it right.


Or maybe I simply loved and cared for it until it was the right time for it to bloom.

In the digital age, we deify youth, speed, and perfection. From phones that manage our time to watches that monitor our health, we use computers to micro-manage and define so many aspects of our lives. With this microscopic, two-dimensional view, it's easy to castigate ourselves for falling short of the ideals set by others. Sometimes it's a good idea to take a step back to get a broader and more realistic view. Maybe we don't need more rules and measures to try to get life "right." Perhaps all that's needed is love and support for things (including ourselves) to blossom in their own time.

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