This Is Probably a Metaphor

Sometimes It Takes Time

Many years ago, I planted daffodil bulbs.  They did okay for the first few years but, after a time, the particular combination of heat, dryness, and just plain weirdness of our New Mexico climate caused them to get weaker.

In a final attempt to save them, I transplanted the remaining bulbs to close by one of our downspout catch basins, where they’d get regular water.  (And, yes, I gave them bulb fertilizer, too, but I had been all along, so that doesn’t apply to this situation.)  The next year, when little green tips poked up in late February, I was very pleased.  However, no flowers formed.

Green tips, no flowers became the pattern for so long that Jim and I started thinking of our flowerless daffodils as a foliage plant, like hostas or coleus.  We decided to simply appreciate how those little green tips, which eventually became longer green foliage, indicated that below ground level plants were indeed coming back after the winter.

Imagine our surprise when this year we saw that in addition to the leaves, there was a flower stalk.  We watched, expecting it to wither, expecting it to get eaten or stepped on or otherwise damaged.  However, eventually, it bloomed!

We were so delighted that when a bout of high winds bent the stem, we cut that single blossom and brought it inside so we could enjoy it.  That one little flower may not seem like much, but it made us disproportionately happy.

A few weeks ago, I wandered on about the value of adaptability for a writer.  Persistence and patience have their place, too.  If you feel tempted to give up on a story, don’t trash it.  Put it on side.  Move on to another project.  Let that particular field lie fallow.

You may find, as with our daffodil, someday the right combination of (metaphorical) sun and water and fertilizer will cause it to blossom.

2 Responses to “This Is Probably a Metaphor”

  1. Harried Harry Says:

    The same can be said about children. You do your best to raise them but sometimes it isn’t enough. They just don’t grow up to their potential, like the Daffodil. Then one day, they start to bloom; it may take a change to cause the blooming, but it happens.

    I suspect writing is a lot like your Daffodil. I have Iris plants which have been in the ground a long time. I think I shall pull them and replant but with a lot fewer. Then I’ll see how they do. The ones I remove I’ll transplant to another part of my yard to provide a better view for them.

    Thanks, have a very enjoyable week.

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