When and why she became interested in the hibiscus she still doesn’t know. But she did. At first she gave hibiscus plants to her Mother who loved them but admitted that she had difficulty keeping them alive.
On her first trip out of the States, other than brief journeys to Mexico and Canada, a strange attraction developed between this woman and a hired driver in Bali. The group with whom she was traveling had hired this young man to drive them to various locations.
On the final leg of their trip, the group began to load luggage and prepare for the last trip before heading home to the States. As she approached the van, one of her traveling companions stopped her, and with a Cheshire cat smile said, “You’re sitting in front.”
To this she responded with a puzzled look and queries, “What?”
At that moment the young man approached her and guided her to the seat next to him. But before he helped her climb into the van, he presented her with a magnificent hibiscus flower which he placed in her hair.
When she finally decided to stop being a co-dependent to her daughter and moved to the Southwest, one of the first plants she bought for her apartment was a hibiscus. In fact, she purchased two!
She watched as small blooms began to appear, never more than one or two at a time.
The first bloomed slowly, opening its fragile petals. It was so beautiful! It reminded her of the one in Bali.
The next day the flower had shriveled into a broken down has been.
It was then she began to learn that if one loved the Hibiscus, one must also learn to appreciate its growth cycle. And so, she continued to pay heed to what happened on a daily basis with her treasured plants.
Several years later she was watching once again the anticipated opening of the beautiful flower. She planned to take a picture of it and perhaps even try painting from the photograph. Not that she was an artist—far from it! But she had been inspired from the Georgia OKeeffe florals.
The grand opening happened earlier than she expected. She had no film, and because of the day’s schedule purchasing new film would have to wait. She spoke to the flower telling her – and it was a her for this woman – how beautiful she was. She pleaed with the flower to hold out for another day.
Coming home that evening with new film for her camera, she loaded the cartridge and rushed into the bedroom where the hibiscus resided. The magnificent bloom was now a shriveled mess. Not wanting to dwell on things she could not control, her inward voice said, “There will be more.” And of course there would be. But it was then she was struck with the idea that this flower, this giving birth, this watching the growth process, this, “I can’t wait for when you’re ready.” concept was in fact what life was all about. And like THE LITTLE PRINCE and his rose, she realized her hibiscus was also special.
Special just as each child, each grandchild was special. She did decide however not to call her daughter with a lecture on the “moments” of a child’s life and how her daughter would regret being too busy to see these things. Nor would she reveal the impact that shriveled flower had on herself.
She too had bloomed and now was in that final stage.