“Where flowers bloom, so does hope” – Lady Bird Johnson
About a week ago, I received a gift of flowers—pink, red and white tulips. When I first opened the box in which they were delivered, the tulips were cold and the petals closed like a clenched fist, but still beautiful. After cutting the end of each stem at an angle, I placed the tulips in a glass vase with plant food and some water. I continued to add water as needed and in the warmth of my home, the petals loosened over the course of the week. Each flower transitioned from being fully closed to being in a state of full bloom; different then when they first arrived…even more beautiful.
Thinking back over the course of the past week, it strikes me that the tulips needed much more water in the first day or two than they did in the days beyond that. I remember at times looking at the flowers and the vase, and feeling surprised that more water was needed again. In fact, I think I added water 2-3 times in those first couple of days.
As I sit facing what are now fully opened tulips, I think about the work required to get to this point. I needed to continue to add water to the vase while the flowers needed to continue to take the water in. There was collaboration. Both things needed to occur in order for the tulips to fully open.
Overall, one might say that the environment needed to be conducive to growth. That is, there needed to be give and take, and room for change…inside (the vase) as well as outside. It is not really all that much different from human relationships. When the environment is conducive, it is much easier to work together, to give and take, and to allow room for change in a manner in which all may flourish.