Pulling up tulips

When we plant flowers, we know that they’ll take a while to grow and bloom. We don’t dig up the earth, just as soon as they’re planted, to see what’s taking them so long. We don’t stomp on the ground, demanding that they show up sooner. We know they take time, and that there’s nothing we can do to force them along or make it all go quicker.

Why do we know this with flowers, but forget it with so many other things? Why do I? There are many things that are processes in life – that don’t happen overnight. But I wish they did. I stare at the ground, waiting for the first sign of green poking up. I want to pull at the stalks as they first begin to grow, hoping that I can make them grow faster, or further, or more. I want to control not just the outcome, but also the journey.

I don’t pull up my tulips, looking for them to bloom sooner. I don’t try and force what I’m waiting for when I’m waiting for flowers. And I’m learning, more and more, to do that with the other things as well. To let them be. To let them grow. To let them bloom. All through no effort of mine.

Because, by the way, if I pulled up my tulips I’d most likely kill them. I’d at least strip them of the flower, so that all I was left with was green stalk. And green stalks are nice, but really they’re only nice when they imply (and mean) that beautiful blossoms are coming.

I’m going to let things blossom on their own. I’m going to remember that I don’t have to, and I can’t, control things. That I can plant my tulips – that’s my job – and maybe water them, and weed the garden. But for them to bloom they only need themselves and the sun…and to be left alone.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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