I have been watching this Gerbera Daisy grow for at least a couple of weeks now. I first noticed it opening up on December 26th, and today is January 16th. This probably doesn’t seem unusual, except that we are in the dead of winter. All of my Gerberas die out in the winter and most of them come back in the spring if I have some kind of cover for them, or they are covered somewhat and protected by another plant nearby. This year, I didn’t cover it at all. I just ran out of time, and then figured whatever survived this winter in the garden was icing on the cake of life!
For context, so far this particular flower has survived freezing temperatures, hail, winds above gale force, and the most ridiculous deluge of downpours for days on end. It also normally blooms a red-orange, but is showing up yellow at this time.
For context about myself, I love gardening. It is one of my very most favorite things to do. When I am in the dirt so to speak, I have some of the most profound personal discoveries and gain insight for solving all of the world’s ills. I am at home in the garden and yard, and it is a balm for my soul and mind. It turns my often-chaotic thoughts into a peace garden. It transforms my rushing river of emotions and stinky thinking into a constructive and placid pond in a meadow. I gain so much calm and peace and clarity in the fog and storms of life when I spend time in nature. So, I’ve been learning from this beauty.
We usually think of daisies as being delicate. But this one is showing us something different. This one is showing us that there is strength in what appears to be delicate, and apparently longevity as well! Below are 35 of the many thoughts that have come up as I have observed this flower for the last few weeks.
I can weather any storm.
I may have some tatters, and scars, and maybe even some broken or missing pieces, but I am still beautiful.
It is somebody else’s choice whether they see me as perfect petals or tattered and torn, but means nothing about how I choose to show up.
At first glance, I might appear to have it all together, to have it all perfected, but upon closer examination you will see truly that I have lived through a lot. And yet, I live.
Sometimes I get stuck in conditions that are tough, but I can show up beautifully still.
If a flower can change its color to survive a season that no one would expect it to survive, I also can shift how I show up to thrive where I am in the moment, the season.
What is my default behavior, my unconscious automatic reaction? Do I notice the beauty or the scars first, and which do I focus on?
Do I honor someone’s scars, especially if I don’t understand them or why they have them?
Sometimes it is necessary to find a balance to stay true to what is good for me and still thrive where I am.
Hold on! There is a new season just around the corner.
Someone might pick me, but it may not be right now.
If no one picks me right now, I can still bloom and bloom again.
If someone does not pick me, they aren’t the one who sees my strength and beauty correctly.
No two flowers are exactly the same, and the flowers don’t care.
Every good bouquet or garden has other kinds of flowers and greenery to create texture, levels, and a more beautiful mix.
I may not be someone’s favorite flower, and I may grow better in a different garden.
There is a time to bloom, and there is a time to rest.
Beauty can be fleeting, so plant good seeds.
It may be surprising at how well I can do when circumstances and surroundings don’t appear optimal.
Surprises and blessings aren’t always planned.
Despite how, where, or what climate I was raised in, I can still thrive, be beautiful, and share joy.
I may never know the depths of what came before someone’s growth and success, or the circumstances from where they are coming.
How someone is dressed or appears shouldn’t determine how much respect I give them.
Examine others under a microscope only if you can handle them lovingly.
I am worthy regardless of where I show up, who is around, or what enyone else thinks.
I won’t be everyone’s favorite.
Sometimes I will need to or have to grow alone, and may even do better that way.
Sometimes I might have to stand alone.
If you pick off too many of my petals, you might end up with an answer you don’t like.
Give me enough room to spread out.
Protect me, but let me grow.
I’m not done unfolding.
I am a part of nature.
Handle me with care — and this is as much a message for me as it is for you.
I have layers, and none are the same, but they all make a whole, beautiful me.
It’s okay to be still. It’s okay to sit in the silence even in the presence of another. Don’t believe for a second that nothing is happening if you aren’t in constant motion. You are but a tiny speck in the whole of it, and it doesn’t all stop because you do. It’s okay to wait because you do not know what to do next — or even if you do.
There is power in the stillness and the silence. Don’t be afraid of it. The truth is there. Healing resides there. There are answers there. There is peace there. There is growth there.
There is so much living in the stillness and silence. There is so much to hear. There is so much to see. Don’t miss it.
Or: Now that I Know So Much I Know How Much I Don’t Know
Or: I’m Highly Qualified to Know this Stuff; I’m Over 50!
Now that I am past the halfway point of my fifties (LORDY!), I feel mature enough and qualified enough to speak on these things. Here is what makes our fifties so interesting to me and other stuff I’ve figured out:
Feeling instantaneously compelled to take layers of clothing off due to a sudden rise in internal body temperature.
Feeling instantaneously compelled to put layers of clothing back on due to a sudden return of normal internal body temperature.
Feeling homicidal about anyone who thinks they are going to change the thermostat.
Feeling justified about feeling homicidal towards the thermostat hijacker.
When I say that I don’t care what people think, I mean it literally, not like when I said it when I was in my thirties as a spite.
Watching the evolutionary process of being an older parent with adult children as if I am some kind of an outsider to it.
Realizing on so many occasions that my children are just plain smarter than me, and possibly than I ever was at their ages.
Having friends that I have known for half a century or more.
No longer feeling guilt or compelled to hold on to family members that are chaotic, unkind, and disruptive just because they are family, and having the certainty that it is the healthy thing to do.
Not being sure how to do something, then figuring it out, then forgetting how I did it for the next time, and just not caring that I forgot and I now have to ask one of the kids and we’re going to laugh about it – even though it’s likely they’re laughing at me.
Yeah, I know some of these are run-on and incomplete sentences. And guess what… I don’t care about that either!
The thought I had when my grandkids were born that I should have just skipped the kids and gone to the fun part of being a grandparent, except now I know that I wouldn’t be the kind of Gram I am without raising those fabulous parents first.
The realization that if someone doesn’t value me, then they either aren’t paying attention or they are missing something in themselves.
Though my fifty-something body may not be in the strong shape my twenty-something body was, my mind and heart are stronger than ever in my resolve to be a co-creator of a world that works for everyone.
Wasting time looks different to different people.
Slow the f#€k down.
You have to look at the stars, and the sunrises, and the sunsets whenever possible. You may not get another one.
Barefoot is good — unless you are going to put them on the dashboard or window of the car. That’s just gross. Walking barefoot on the Earth is grounding. Besides being gross, the other one will get your knees shoved through your face if you get into an accident.
Take care of your feet. Wash them, for God’s sake. Don’t let your nails get gross and your feet get crusty. It’s not just gross, it’s unhealthy.
Don’t be the reason the person you live with feels lonely.
It’s easy to take the people that care about us and/or we care about for granted, but it’s not okay.
Be fearless. Say yes to things that scare you or have you stopped.
Get tattoos if you like them, no matter what your dad might say.
It really doesn’t matter if someone’s pants sag. What matters is when you think you are better because yours don’t.
If you can look the other way when someone is cheating or being deceitful, you are an accomplice.
Don’t let past regrets stop you. You have them because you are supposed to do better next time. That is the lesson from regrets.
I don’t for a second believe that everything happens for a reason.
I do 100% believe that there is a lesson to be found in everything.
When someone is talking to you, acknowledge them, and act like what they are saying is of the utmost importance. They are giving themselves to you.
As a parent, tell your kids when you could have done better with them, even if it is decades later.
I think most often most people do the very best they can. But don’t let that be an excuse to keep a terrible person around or excuse their poor behavior and choices. Sometimes someone’s very best may still not be a good fit for you.
Don’t think for one minute that you always know more than your children. At any age, child or grown, we should be learning from them.
Forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to keep them around. It can; but it’s possible it can also mean “thank you for showing me who you are and where you belong.”
It is the job of our youth to challenge our ideals. Each generation co-creates the world for the next generation. We fall short only because we don’t realize in the moment that it is all going to change, and that is the way of things. If you are ridiculing their ideas, that says a whole lot about you and nothing about them. Remember, we raised them and we brought them up in a world whose systems were created before us and also by us. And what did we do?
We do see the color of people’s skin. Color blindness is only a real thing when you’re talking about the genetic disorders. Claiming color blindness when talking about another person is not actually honoring the person of color as you might think. It is actually dismissing a part of them that is worthy of being seen. It is dismissive and indicates you are not willing to dive past the surface to be not only inclusive of our differences, but it assumes that assimilation is key to equality. It is not. What you are actually blind to is your own privilege that you walk around in without seeing that either. You may think that by ignoring the color of another’s skin that you are making a dent in racism. You are doing the exact opposite.
People of color are not here to do all the educating for you on inclusion and what it’s like to be a person of color.
When someone tells you their experience and it’s different from yours, they are still right.
Teach your kids to read books, not screens.
I am never bored. EVER.
When someone mistreats you; that is who they are. There’s no reason under the sun to let them continue.
When someone tells you something about yourself that’s hard to hear, HEAR it, and move forward accordingly.
Don’t let someone talk you out of your dreams or convince you that you’re not worthy of them — big or small.
It’s okay to be mad. In fact, sometimes we should be mad.
It’s not okay to hurt someone because you’re mad.
Therapy. Do it.
You don’t have to do things like your parents.
Do NOT live vicariously through your children. You will be in their way.
Children are not tiny adults, and you are a parent first and always; then sometimes you can be their friend, too. When they are grown then you can be friends, and before you know it they will slowly take over, and they may need to. It’s that middle part that’s the sweet stuff, and if you cultivate it, they won’t mind having to take over at some point, and you will trust them to.
Don’t let anyone interfere between you and your children. That should remain an indivisible bond.
We all need quiet time.
Your kids do NOT need to be busy all the time.
Alone is not lonely.
Suspicion breeds suspicion.
Trust. Don’t screw it up.
Cuss if you want to.
Go out of your way to get to know people that don’t look like you or sound like you. You’ll NEVER be sorry.