The last orchid of summer…

I don’t understand how orchid blossoms can last so long.  It seems like a miracle.  Week after week, even months at a time, the cluster of orchid blooms cling to a brown stick shooting out of the base of the plant.  MIne had ten blossoms.  I say “had” because suddenly this weekend, they began to drop.  Now I have one.

The last holdout isn’t looking so good.  A bit shrivelled. But it’s hanging on.

It’s perfectly natural for this to happen, yet it feels a little tragic.  Why can’t the flowers remain always beautiful, always there to admire? But, honestly, how greedy of me!  I mean, my plant has been flowering for a good six months and here I am lamenting not to have the flowers even longer…?

That is the way, isn’t it?  I had a year’s sabbatical leave during which I read and wrote regularly and got a good night’s rest every night and exercised and spent time with my family.  It was a beautiful time and a real privilege that I realize by far most people do not get the opportunity to enjoy.  Here I am lamenting that it’s over, though, anyway.

It’s not as if I’m not enjoying being back in the classroom.  In fact, every day I find pleasure in my students and in helping them to learn and grow.  I am beginning to get to know them, and this helps immensely. I recognize that it is also a privilege to be allowed to teach these fine young people. (Er, or not young, as the case may be in my university classes where we have a range of students from traditional college age to older returning students.)  Anyway, you know what I mean.  It truly is an honor.

The last blossom will fall today, perhaps while I am on campus.  And eventually I will get tired of looking at the dead stick with no flowers attached, and I’ll cut it off. Then, when I’ve almost forgotten what color those flowers will be, a new stick will shoot up three inches in one day.  Within a week, the buds will emerge and begin to open.

Maybe in time for summer…

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2 Responses

  1. Beautiful post.

    I hope that blossom holds out for one more day. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Paul. It did fall off, though. Sigh. I knew it’d happen….

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