Clara Hinton
Grief Speaker, Author, and Workshop Leader

The Cactus that Finally Bloomed!

1/23/2013 (Resilience)

Nature is such a great teacher! Several years ago I bought a tiny cactus plant for a dollar.  This plant was in full bloom.  In fact, the purple flower on the top of the plant seemed to puff out and say, “Look at me!  I'm here to show you nature in all of its glory!”

Within one month, the blossom had fallen off of the cactus plant, but I was okay with that knowing that the cactus came with a full guarantee that it would faithfully bloom two times a year with little to no care whatsoever.  All I had to do was water it lightly once every ten days.

After several months of no new bloom atop my cactus plant, I began to get discouraged.  I had followed the directions which were quite simple.  I kept the plant in the proper sunlight.  And, I confess that I even talked to the plant on occasion!  Still there was no sign of a bloom.

Months eventually turned into a year.  One year turned into two years without a bloom, and finally I decided to discard the plant.  After all, what good was a prickly plant if it didn't host an elaborate bloom as promised?  I took the plant, gave it one last glance, and tossed it outside.  I guess my dollar plant was never going to bloom and I wasn't going to waste my time on a plant that couldn't at least give me a little bit of joy.

In all honesty, the plant was soon forgotten.  Forgotten until one day almost five years later when I was digging up a plot of soil to make a flower bed for my perenniels.  I looked at the ground and couldn't believe what I saw!  There in the midst of a mound of soil I had overturned was the little potted cactus plant that I had so thoughtlessly thrown out.  But, even more surprising was the fact that on top of this shrivled plant was a little bump that looked like a growth.  

I brought the plant and sat it on my porch in the sunshine and looked closely at that bump.  Unbelieveably, that was more than a bump.  That was a blossom forming!!!!  Within two days there was the most glorious bloom sitting atop that cactus – even more beautiful than when I first bought it.

The plant had been discarded.  It had received no care.  It had survived several harsh winters as well as the scorching heat of the summers.  And, yet it survived.  Not only did it survive, but it was flourishing!  It was blooming!

I've never forgotten that cactus that I had for many, many more years.  That was my daily reminder of hope. There are dark times in our lives when we no longer bloom, and we feel like we'll never reach a place of joy again.  And, so we give up.  We fall prey to discouragement and despair.  We feel like our world is never going to experience joy again.  When you feel like that, just do as I do.  Remember the cactus!  Hope is always alive and working!  Even during your darkest times in life, hope is flickering within and when you least expect it, your day of blooming will arrive!

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