Thursday, January 5, 2012

Waiting for Things to Happen

paperwhites in front of stained glass window
January is a month of newness and there are a few things in my life I am ready to start now, or would like to begin very soon.  The problem is that nothing happens in my time.  I have come to understand that, and accept it with a good attitude.  Patience and waiting are recurring themes in my writing.
Today is the anniversary of my Dad's passing.  It hardly seems possible that ten years have gone by.  Initially it seemed that the hurt and sadness would never go away.  In time - not my time - it did.  That was replaced with a warm fondness and good memories and only a lingering hint of the terrible sense of loss. 
Orchid buds
Dad was not a very patient man.  He talked to me about it; how outcomes were not always under our control - that ultimately it was the Lord's call on everything.  But that doesn't mean he didn't spend a lot of time impatiently drumming his fingers waiting for his teenagers to be ready to go somewhere, for his wounds from surgeries to heal, or for his plants to bloom.  Sometimes he overwatered and overfed the plants and they would die or droop.  True to his impatience, he would buy new blooming ones.
Amaryllis flower coming soon
In his later years, Dad's body slowed down and he had to be more patient.  It's something that apparently happens with the aging process when you know for certain that you can't do everything and you will not live forever.  Rather than hearing him clapping his hands to get everyone else moving, or expressing disappointment over the pace of things, we noticed he was a little bit slower and sometimes not the first person out the door or ready to order a meal. 
orchid buds opening
I think Dad learned a lot of the patience he did have from the flowers he grew.  Over time he learned to wait on the blooms, anticipating the annual explosions of color in their Florida garden.  He still was inclined to replace perfectly good bloomless plants with blooming ones, and likely to give away orchids once the flowers wilted.
worth the wait
So this week, in his honor, the buds on my beautiful white orchid began to open for the third time in 18 months.  The first sign of these buds was in August, on a tiny stalk.  Slowly it got longer and another came forth with even more tiny buds.  Now there are three stalks with a dozen voluptuous buds, four already fully blooming.  Dad would be impressed that I coaxed it into blooming again. 
It is a tough day in a tough week when the holiday decorations are gone, sweet treats are again forbidden, the family time is behind us, the diet regimen is solidly back in place, and it is cold.   The orchid blooms are a beautiful reminder of the results of patience and of my Dad's love.  I may still drum my fingers like Dad, and exhibit impatience when things don't run on my schedule, but I do think that I have made progress.  It appears I have some more waiting to do and I look forward to the results.  Thanks for the lessons, Dad!