Friday, October 12, 2012

Late Bloomer

First blossom a few days after transplanting

I noticed the emerging blossom on the young Moonflower plant that day, when I was shopping in my local greenhouse. The large white flower would probably open in a few more days. It was getting to be late in the season for planting, since it was the Fourth of July weekend, but I had to bring it home and give it a chance to thrive and bring beauty into my world.

It was a thrill to watch the rapid growth as it twisted and curled itself around my porch post. I provided a long shoelace tied to the post to give it something to climb and cling to as it grew. Everyday, I did my best to give each new curly tendril the direction it needed to stay attached to the pole instead of going it’s own way, just flailing in the summer breeze. The blossom that attracted me initially bloomed a few days after I planted it, or better said, a few nights later as the large blossoms usually start unfurling around dusk and are limp and withered by early morning. It didn’t take long for the lush plant to fill out and become a lovely focal point for the front of my home.

I had to wait nearly a month before I saw any sign of another white blossom. August passed by before blossom three showed up. I confess, I was a bit disappointed at the scarcity of flowers. Just the same, I enjoyed the abundant greenery and the Praying Mantises that it attracted.

When October arrived and the chilly autumn evenings rolled in, my thoughts turned to the reality that soon I would be witnessing the demise of my beloved flowers. All too soon, I would be clearing away the memories of all the beauty and pleasure my gardens provided this summer; as the leaves would soon turn yellow, then brown and crisp, as they succumbed to the fatal damage of the first anticipated frost. I would be thankful for the joy and healing that my gardens brought to my broken heart this summer and look forward to starting the growing cycle all over again in the spring.

Autumn has always been hard for me emotionally, because it was Buck's favorite season and our wedding anniversary takes place mid-October, bringing a flood of memories with it. Never the less, I have made a decision to welcome it this year and to be more intentional to look for all the beauty that this colorful season has to offer. 

I had no expectations of finding anything more to smile about in my gardens, since autumn had arrived. Then recently, I noticed something that brought unexpected delight to my heart. It seemed that all of a sudden, my Moonflower had developed multiple blossoms and if the weather doesn’t deliver any killing frosts in the next several days, I have the potential for more flowers this week than I had all summer. Now I’m thanking God for my “late bloomer”!
Blessed to enjoy this blossom all day long, thanks to the cloudy day

Recently, I was treated to a wonderful surprise, when a blossom (number four) was still wide open and beautiful all day long, thanks to the cloudy day that fooled the flower into believing it was still nightfall. For the first time, I was able to take pictures of the fragrant saucer sized flower in the daytime.

As I considered the new growth I found, I sensed that God wanted me to draw a parallel here. Perhaps it‘s His way of showing me that I am a lot like my Moonflower. That I too, have the potential to blossom and grow, though I am in the autumn of my life. I’m starting to realize how important it is to remember that “It’s never too late to bloom where you’re planted”. I pray that when springtime arrives, I will show signs of fresh growth, creativity, and healing thanks to the emerging of the new seasons ahead. I need to believe that God can provide the ideal conditions to help me produce something of lasting beauty, if I will trust Him to inspire me to blossom, using the creative gifts he has given me. He will lovingly guide me with His wisdom. He will provide direction, as I depend on Him for i

I believe this is a message that can speak to all of us. Being made in God's image means we all have been blessed with creative gifts. My encouragement to you and myself is to use those gifts to glorify God in whatever way He may lead and inspire us.

Embracing the months ahead will make them a time to look forward to, instead of dreading as I have in the past. Lord, help me to remember everyday, no matter the season:

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

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