Friday, July 24, 2009


My mom has had an orchid plant for years. It had big, full, white flowers growing all over it when she first got it, but then the flowers fell off and it was just a grouping of long, green leaves and one stem. But she's cared for it for about 3 or 4 years and wondered if it would one day bloom again.

Shortly after I moved in with my parents, we began to see 2 tiny bumps on the main stem. We thought it might be sprouting new stems or leaves. Then a month later she and my dad went away for a week, and before she left she said to me, with her eyes wide like an excited kid, “If something happens, take a picture and call me immediately!” It was like we were waiting for a birth.

When I was alone I didn’t pay much attention to the plant, and then one day I glanced over at it and, as if out of nowhere, I saw 2 big purple buds on the stem.

A few weeks later those buds became 2 huge, lion-faced, purple flowers. Unfortunately I have no pictures of the blooms but trust me, they were gorgeous, kinda like this....

Then she told me more about them and how they grow. Orchids have to grow under very specific conditions. They must be planted in a pot full of wood chips, not dirt, since orchids grow in the wild on desiccated trees -- they grow where things have died. They prefer humidity, so its aerated pot sits atop a pile of glass rocks that she keeps wet. She took care of this plant for 4 years hoping to see it bloom again.

So why now? Why at this exact time, a time when the whole house is disrupted, amongst this chaos, when its about to be relocated to another part of the country, why is it blooming now? And why did it change from white to purple?

This got me thinking about the act of lovingly caring for something even with no signs of life present.

Having faith and waiting patiently for something beautiful.

Blooming in the midst of chaos.

And then proudly displaying a new face.

A new color.

A new life.

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