Behold, a flower is coming!

"For nearly a decade we've had that small pond in our yard. We've had fish in it, plants in it and I almost fell in it once. But I've never been able to grow flowers in it," I said in frustration.

I stopped by a local garden shop to talk to one of the experts about why I can't get our flowering pond plants to flower.

"Every year I try a new one hoping that this will be the year. My sister-in-law has beautiful flowers popping up from the lily pads in her pond. I think my fish are laughing at me," I said to the young man.

"Well, you've answered one question for me. If you have fish in there you need to be careful. Adding fertilizer for the plants won't necessarily be good for the fish," he said. "Are the plants spreading like they should?"

"Yes, in fact they spread too much. I actually have to remove some leaves."

"How big is this pond?"

"Oh, about five feet by three."

"That's not a pond, it a bird bath!" he said joking.

"I know. But we love it anyway."

"What else do you have growing in it?

"Some tall plant this year that supposed to grow a gladiola-like flower on it."

"Is that growing?"

"Yes, it just keeps growing these big leaves. I thought at first I bought a palm tree. I bet if I bought one more I could tie a hammock in-between. Okay, it's not that big," I said. "But every time a new shoot comes up we think "could this be the flower?" Then more leaves drop down."

"Wait for a moment while I go get Bill. Maybe he can help."

I stood nearby their display pond. It had at least a dozen beautiful lilies growing out of the water along with some smaller bush type plants along the water's edge. They had flowers, too.

"You know it just needs time," a voice said softly.

I looked around and couldn't see anyone. I thought I was having heat stroke. Then just on the other side of the bushes near the pond, this wonderful looking older woman standing no taller than 4'10", came walking out.

"Oh, there you are. I thought I was hearing voices," I said.

"They need time. Everyone of those shoots has potential. It's like life. You take time to nurture every part of your life and you never know what part is going to go into full bloom," she said.

"That's true. I never thought of it that way."

"How many times did you try something that didn't work out the way you wanted it to, but you discovered something else of value?"

"I'm in the business I'm in because of that. I never thought I'd be doing what I'm doing now. I started off wanting to be something else."

"So keep on nurturing all that you have and stand back in anticipation of beautiful things popping up. Yes, there will be some weeds mixed in. Be grateful for the weeds. They help you to appreciate the flowers more. But don't ever just focus on one part. You are one spirit with many parts. In order to find the flower you need to treat the whole growth."

The young man returned. "Sir, Bill's not here today. He'll be in tomorrow if you'd like to come back."

"My friend, I think I found the solution."

"Excellent, what's wrong with them?"

"I need to appreciate the leaves more," I said.

Upon my return home I walked out by the pond and took a second look at those plants. There springing up from the water was a whole bunch of potential. That evening Marianne and I sat on our deck and talked for about an hour. I told her we need to love the plants more and appreciate the beauty of their leaves.

"So, you're saying we won't have flowers again this year!" she said with a smile.

"Well, let's be grateful for how tall this one grew. It has potential," I said.

When we came out to feed the fish this morning one of the tallest, tightly wrapped shoots started to open. Behold, a flower is coming!

~ Bob Perks ~

[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2006 ( -- {used with permission} ]

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