As the Gardenia Grows…
Since I was old enough to realize that learning is a privilege, not an obligation (circa age 22?), I have believed that when we stop learning, we stop growing. Growth is not always fun, however. I often stare at my gardenia tree and wonder why it simply won’t sprout a bud, despite all my good thoughts and the finest fertilizer.
Then, today, out of nowhere I realized that the gardenia just may not be ready, simply not mature enough to bloom yet. It may take months, or even years beyond my possession of this home, for this otherwise-seemingly-healthy tree to bloom. No amount of forced fertilization, constant coaxing nor subliminal whispers will influence this tree beyond where it is right now. It stands healthy, strong and independent – no signs of a weak foundation nor stress, no second-guessing its progression nor excuses for its stillness. Yet, I know, that when it does bloom – no amount of trimming nor pruning will limit its flowery potential. All it needs is ample space around its roots and the time necessary to bloom where it has been planted.
Perhaps my gardenia tree is onto something here. Growth does not have to be painful, full of comparisons to other gardenia trees across the street nor insecure about the amount of space it takes up and nutrients it sucks from the soil. The tree, like us all, simply needs to nurture its roots – our goals and desires, soak in the sunshine and rain as they come, and prepare ourselves for the next bloom.
Wishing You Success,
Author’s Note: the project manager in me would love to allocate additional resources, expand the budget and reverse engineer a risk mitigation plan to get this tree to produce, but, instead I await patiently its first bloom.
Postscript: Martha Stewart was not consulted in the writing of this blog. Her gardenias are overachievers, anyways.