What my lilies taught me about life

I am not that kind of person to keep plants at home. I do not keep plants at home because I do not have green fingers. But I do occasionally buy flowers to spruce up the house. Recently on the spur of the moment I bought some white lilies from Trader Joes and these flowers have a surprisingly long shelf life - all 11 (except 1) lilies blossomed gracefully and beautifully over the span of three weeks.

Placed in a cylindrical glass vase, these flowers were the centrepiece at the dining table. Everyday when I woke up and made my coffee in the kitchen I would take a close look at them and see which flower blossomed and which was waiting to bloom. Over the next few days I observed closely as the flower bulbs slowly turned from green to white, after which the petals on each lily would unfold delicately like the sleeping beauty who just awoken from a long deep sleep. As the lilies blossomed  the entire living room would be embraced in its sweet elegant fragrance for days. This process was so slow and minute that one would never notice unless you stop and observe long enough to appreciate how nature takes it own time to move along the course of life.

On many days I found myself wondering why the lilies were taking their own sweet time to bloom. We live in such a fast-paced world we become so impatient for instant gratification. If I had it my way, the flowers would bloom NOW.

And I think this is the lesson that my lilies are trying to teach me about life - Nature always take its own course, never hurried, never forced. 

Everything that happens in life has its own timing and place in time. When the time is right the events will unfold on its own at the right place and right time. 

This reminded me of a nugget of wisdom that my mum told me once years ago and one I will always remember close to heart - She said that the unfolding of life is like planting a tree and waiting for the fruits on the tree to ripe. You go too early and will end up waiting under the tree, frustrated that no fruit is ready or you might be too impatient and pluck a fruit that is unripe and unpleasant to taste. On the other hand if you wait too late all the fruits might be picked by others or simply rot on the ground, too late to be savoured. You have to be patient to wait for the right moment where the fruits are ripe and ready to drop - and that is where you will taste the fruits of your labor.

I would like to use this blog entry to remind myself that sometimes it pays to have a little patience and wait. Be patient - some things take time.