I’m not sure what the opposite is of a green thumb but whatever it may be, it is me. I may have snuck to the garbage chute once or twice before trying to discard the shriveled up brown plant before others can see. I’m a responsible adult. I should be able to do this.

Then I got an orchid. It was ok for the first month. Then the blooms dropped but I was told that was normal. A month passed. Then two, three, four. It is now a year later and I was still watering this silly plant. I kept asking myself why I didn’t just ditch it but the leaves were still green and I was holding out hope. It was hard to look at it each day and not see a bloom. It’s usually right before that breaking point that you have that glimmer of hope. Then the unexpected. With a little shift in the position in the room, suddenly there was a bud and then a bloom. Now it’s only one and it still looks sad but all the waiting and watering seemed to suddenly be worthwhile.

It’s always funny when these reminders hit you. I was having a week where I just needed a little bit of hope and the bloom reminded of my role. Whether in the classroom or in my current role, so much of what I do requires hope. Hope that the investment of time will be worthwhile. Hope that I am making things better and not worse, better yet not getting in the way. Hope that through all the glitz and glam, the mess ups, the stutters, people see the passion and moral imperative in it all. Hope that even if it isn’t with me, growth will come.

Now hope alone won’t be enough. Hope with action on the other hand has great potential.

The lesson I learned: Hope is easy in the bud-flower phase but much harder in the brown shriveled up waiting phase but it’s worth the wait. 

The question that remains: When is hope not enough? How do you know when to ditch the plant and when to hold on?




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