With flowers bursting into bloom seemingly overnight, it seemed fitting to recycle this post from June 2018. Enjoy.
If you read my blog regularly, you know that patience is not my strong suit. I want things to happen quickly like a thunderstorm – swift and noticeable. Instead, things happen like a seed planted in soil – slow and subtle.
Here’s a true story: In January, I planted California poppy seeds. In March, everyone else’s poppies started to bloom. Mine did not. I checked my poppies frequently, searching for signs of buds. Each day I stared at verdant green leaves, but no hints of orange. Finally, in about mid-May, the first bud appeared, and then suddenly, a flower. It thrilled me to see orange after so many months of waiting. I beamed from ear to ear and pride swelled within me. But note, it took months, MONTHS, for my poppies to catch up to everyone else’s.
Right now, I feel like those poppies, behind the times. Many of my friends are progressing in their lives. They’re buying houses, getting married, having babies. Things are not perfect – I am privy to their challenges as well as triumphs – but big milestones are happening in their lives. The same is not true for me. Instead, I am a poppy plant with no hint of a bud.
A part of me thinks something is wrong that I’m not cycling with my peers. I’m not blooming while they are. However, I’m reminded of what my spiritual teacher said regarding movement. Movement is systaltic, like a heartbeat. Do you know how a heart pumps blood? I learned this ages ago in AP Bio. A heart is like a syringe – it fills up with blood, pauses at fullness, and then pushes all the blood out. In all of life, we experience this cycle. It’s the natural order of things to expand, pause, and contract.
I think I’m still in the expanding phase. I haven’t reached fullness yet. I’m still pulling nutrients from the soil. When I look at those around me, it’s hard not to compare myself with them. I know, I know, comparison is the thief of joy. I know compare usually leads to despair. I know I’m not doing myself any favors by comparing my life with anyone else’s, yet, I’m doing it anyway.
Instagram makes it hard not to think everyone else’s life is so much cooler than mine. I’m envious of what they have. But when I think about my poppies, when I think about life being systaltic, I feel a smidge better because I’m reminded I am in my own cycle. It may take longer for things to bloom, but that doesn’t mean they won’t.
I dream of a world where we remember we each have our own cycles. A world where we realize sometimes things happen quickly and sometimes things happen slowly. A world where we realize there’s not much we can do about timing other than to take the required action and let go of the rest. A world where after waiting and waiting, then there’s a bloom.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.