Friday, November 21, 2014

A Succulent Little Update

I'm washing dishes and noticing how beautiful and full my terrariums have become. Do you remember in May how I made little terrariums with my friend?

They were precious and so fun to make. Perhaps you have family coming into town for Thanksgiving. They might enjoy making terrariums one afternoon. The two photos below are the original terrariums, and the third is the present day one!

They've grown so big in 7 months, and I've hardly watered them. They make the winter kitchen seem a little brighter, and they still remind me of what I wrote back then:

I love what those succulents symbolize; like them, I want to store up all the beauty and truth I can, fattening myself up with joy, so I'm able to flourish in the driest season.

I love studying all the growing things in my life, no matter what the season. Acorns, raspberries, peonies, artichokes, paperwhites, tomatoes--each has something to teach us.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Blooming Now?

My youngest daughter bought me a package of Paperwhite Narcissus bulbs for planting indoors. We planted them on November 1st, and today, they bloomed! This only took 20 days from planting to enjoyment. Fragrant! Lovely!

Do you remember when I wrote about the "Chilling Requirement" of certain fruit trees in Pennsylvania? The peach trees, for example, need 1000 hours of rest in below 40 degree weather for dormancy. They won't flower and produce fruit unless they meet this chilling requirement. The chilling requirement for some plants enables them to then come alive in a new season. Only then will they begin to grow.

Back then, I wondered what my own chilling requirement might be.

Paperwhites, however, have no chilling requirement. As soon as you plant them, the bulbs immediately begin to grow. Unlike other bulbs like daffodils and tulips (that require adequate chilling), paperwhites just bloom no matter what. You just add water! And you can stagger your plantings so you have continuous blooms throughout the holiday season.

I love looking at and smelling my paperwhites. They remind me of a certain readiness for action, a certain ability to spring to life when it's time. I tell God I'm ready--anytime and anywhere--to grow and bloom. Instead of considering traditional patterns of rest and dormancy, God might invite me to be more paperwhite than tulip this season.

It's all inside of us. Just add water, and we're ready. We don't pay attention to traditional patterns; when God says to bloom, we do it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I Know It Cold

It's cold! My cats curl up by the heaters and steal all the warmth they can. 

My winter routine begins: 

We humidify the air. We wear layers. We apply lotion and lip balm. We drink warm beverages and slurp soups that simmer on the stove. We retire to bed earlier and close the drapes against the frosty night.

In the mornings, we drink hot coffee as the house heats up. Still in fluffy slippers, we debate with the neighbors via hilarious texts exactly how cold it must be for us to drive to school instead of walk. 

The winter comes like it has before, but this year, I realize I've truly adapted. 

It's cold, but I know what to do. I know this season by heart. 

Living with flair means learning winter's lessons and knowing how to adapt to a new season. I don't resist; I snuggle into it and can hardly wait to see what gifts it will bring.