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  • Lijing Cobb

Let us blossom

Last May I got a hibiscus tree from a local shop and it’s been in my house ever since. For almost a year this tree has given us beautiful red flowers every day. One day when I woke up in the morning and went downstairs, she held out 6 flowers to me. I wanted to take a picture of it but got distracted. The day went on, and by the time I saw the tree again, the flowers had already all folded. The hibiscus flowers, glorious as they are, have a lifespan of about 10 hours. If you see one, appreciate its beauty now. Say what you want to say, and make the best of your acquaintance, because most likely there will not be another chance.


I have many orchids in my house too, and they love hanging out for a while. Once they open, for months on end they hold their elegance. There’s plenty of time to say hello. If Monday is no good, Tuesday works too. If this week is busy, next week is fine as well. This month’s out? Pretty sure next month is no problem either. So on and on they live quietly, waiting.

This morning I walked over to a newly opened hibiscus flower. It’s perfect, just like the last one, and the next one. I held my gaze over the contour of the flower. Patiently and silently the flower continued its presence in this world. Every second of its 10 hours, the flower insists on being this brilliant. I moved over to the orchid and let my eyes fall on the flowers that might have been there a day, or 100, and they quietly greeted me with their exquisiteness. Every moment of their existence, far longer than the hibiscus, the orchid stays true to its magnificent essence.

I have so much to learn from these flowers. Life, regardless of its span, needs to be in its full glory while we are at it. Some of us have a hundred years, some of us have ten. How do we blossom to our fullest in our allotted time on this earth?


My 10yo got home on this Friday night, followed by a text message on my phone from her friend’s mom. They have a playdate to make cake pops, and two boys from their class are invited too. “Can I go?” She asks me eagerly. Why not? This is bound to happen sooner or later. On the way to her friend’s house I ask her if they all planned it together at school. “Yes we did!” After dropping her off, I get back home and walk past her door. Loads of clothing on the floor. She might have tried on a lot of them to get ready for this, oh wait, I’m forbidden to call it playdate anymore, gathering of friends.


I go into my son’s room where both my 9yo and 7yo are hanging out on their computers on my boy’s bed. They are looking at “school-related” stuff, and they are happy. Should I end this happiness by exercising my parent’s prerogative and have them practice their instrument instead? Maybe not. It’s Friday. Let them bloom on their computer if they choose.


My husband calls to ask me about our daughter, who suffered a small injury last night. He tells me that he’s coming home soon, and wants to know if we are going out or staying in. This man who works all day every day, wants to be done with work so badly but never quits, wants to spend time with us but rarely can, wants to do fun stuff but is always handicapped with work, leaves it all to me to arrange for his after-work activities. What could I do to help him blossom the best he can?

I’m on my 3 meals only diet for the 4th day today. After the success for the first two days, I continued to adhere to the guidelines yesterday, only for my weight to shoot back up again at the end of the day. Dumbfounded, I found myself struggling to find peace of mind. Today I have been “good” again, but I’m realizing something. Restricting myself to a set of rules that do not speak to the situation at hand will never really work to my advantage. I’m not letting myself blossom to the fullest! Would I ever understand how everything works? Would the scale always show the truth to me? Would it ever be worth it to let a number destroy the value of my effort?


So it is that we go on, taking each day by the hand, not holding our breath for what’s to come, and appreciating what’s offered to us here and now. Blossom and let blossom, that’s what we are here for, isn’t it?



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