Exotic Blooms

August 14, 2013



It was in the perennials section of a local garden centre, an exotic plant with very large leaves, larger than anything I was used to seeing in this land of ice and snow. I could picture it as something beautiful and exotic for my gaze to land on during the hot summer months around the water feature in my yard.


I immediately scooped it up and brought it home. With great anticipation I found the perfect spot to showcase it, but without verbalizing the thought I had serious doubts as to whether or not it could survive the transplant from the comfort of it's garden centre pot in a solarium setting to the sometimes cruel life of an outdoor garden. After all it would be subject to every nature of bug, probably not the best soil or sun conditions, rummaging raccoons and my three year old grandson Brayden running through it threatening it's very existence with every stomp of his miniature addidas.


However as summer days passed, this strange plant (the name of which I still have no clue) and I struggled for it's survival. Not a day could go by without me giving it lots and lots of water. If I missed even one day I would find it's large leaves hanging limp and craving the strength that my water of life could give them to support themselves. When winter arrived I saw the end of my beautiful prize whither and fall silent under a blanket of snow about two feet deep. Surely I thought I had gotten all the pleasure out of this plant that was going to be possible, but a great surprise was sleeping below the surface.


When spring came this year I was overjoyed to see fresh green leaves sprouting from the dead stems of last summer.  My plant, the one whose life I had so vigorously fought to defend (such drama) had survived. I truly was amazed as my wife could testify to you, "If you want the see the death of any of your plants, just give them to Bob for a couple of days to take care of!" And that is so true.


As this summer has progressed my plant seems strong with many more leaves than last year. I've done my best to enrich the soil around it and for some reason even though it has grown much larger it doesn't seem to need as much water. In my vast botanistic knowledge I can only assume that it's roots have become established in a place where no man can see.  It currently shows signs of insect and caterpillar attack and it somehow managed to escape the treadings of the notorious Brayden as he scaled my rock garden week after week with the sound of me screaming from the deck, "Brayden, don't step on my plant!!!"


But now to the climax of my story...this week I made a shocking discovery!  Without noticing it, my plant has shot up a stem from the middle of it and it has a huge, and I mean huge bud at the top of it. I had no idea it was a flowering plant!  Upon closer inspection I see several other buds though much smaller, they hold great promise that I am the proud owner of a fall bloomer.


The point of this story is this.  My flower wilted and fell limp. It failed to thrive all last summer. It was attacked by insect infestation all this summer. It's leaves though large are not the pretty, shiny wings of green glory they were when I first saw it, however deep inside it there is something growing. Something surviving, something strong, and something of great value. A flower is blooming.  In the vast garden that is this earth, with it's tropical forests and seas of blooming meadows I have a single plant in my garden.  A seemingly nameless plant that is about to fulfill it's purpose in the world. It is about to produce a flower. A flower that will add it's small offering of beauty to the world...and I will notice.  As crazy as this sounds, I will cheer for her when I see her fully bloom.  And when no one is looking I will tell her how proud I am of her and that she is the most beautiful flower in the whole world.


How this plant reminds me of my Jesse.  One who was plucked out of a healthy life and plunged into the sterile and baron confines of a hospital bed.  Removed for so long from the rich soil of his family's embrace and forced to lie amidst tubes and monitors and beeping machines.  That was last year, his cold winter, the winter he survived.  However like my beloved plant, apparently there is something strong in Jesse, something that won't quit.  On the outside of him we don't see arms and legs like other two year olds with their ongrowing abilities to jump and climb and run their little cars along the wavy pattern of the living room rug imaging exciting little roads of discovery.


But behind the wilted leaves there is something growing in him, and we are beginning to see the beginning of a bloom. A bloom that will one day add it's own purposeful beauty to the world.  And I wonder some days about myself.  As the years pass I can't help but notice the mirror on the wall whispering to me, "You know Bob, you're not the young buck you once were!"  But inside, is there anything of great value that is growning? Is this a question that you too ask of yourself? What kind of soil have we grown up in?  What have our own roots dug into and what kind of flower will they produce?

We see so many in our world who produce only the thistles of predjudice or hatred or regret.  And many without flowers but with the thorns of unforgiveness, bitterness and vice, without the hope of ever producing any semblance of a flower to add beauty to this world.


Last year was a year we will not forget.  It was a challenging and life threatening season for Jesse.  However we have nothing but hope for his future as we know that Jesse is planted in the richest soil of our love. He is nourished by ever kiss and hug he can endure in a week and the Son shines on him every day.


I offer you this...No life is a small life. No seemingly nameless soul is insignificant. Even the weakest among us can survive all the tragic dramas of  life to bravely unfold our own exotic blooms and change the world.


In closing just a quick note: Be sure to check out many recent photos of Jesse on our Photo page and for any families that face similar issues to our own please visit our Resources page for the contact information of the therapists that we confidently endorse.


As always, I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR COMMENTS. Please leave a note below and forward this blog to your network if it has added any hope to your day.


Bob Arrigo

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