Not Just A Flower


They’re all so beautiful! I want one so badly. It would be careless of me,

though, because I know I’m ill-equipped to take care of it. I cock my head

to one side and the voice inside my head tells me this time might be

different. I need to make a decision one way or another before my ice

cream starts to melt.

Standing in the floral department of the grocery store, I pick it up, sniff it,

and touch it. Then I place it back down. Even if I got one, which do I chose?

They have both the white and purple varieties. Which container is best?

There are plastic, ceramic, and even tea cups! At that moment, I realize

how ridiculous it is agonizing over whether to buy an orchid.

I took a lot less time saying yes to my husband’s marriage proposal. I took

even less time deciding eighteen months later to start a family. The voice in

my head tells me that if I’ve kept the kids alive so far, I must be able to

handle an orchid. Past experience says otherwise. I definitely have a black

thumb. I can’t even tell you how long it’s been since I’ve had a live plant in

my house. I kept trying, but they’d always die. My house was like a hospice

center for plants and flowers. I would just make their last days and weeks

comfortable until it was time for them to leave this earth. So, I gave up


I now have fake orchids throughout my house. They’re not nearly as pretty

as the real thing, but at least I can’t kill them. Still, every time I look at one

of them, I have mixed feelings. Maybe I should put on my big girl pants and

just get a real orchid. As much as it would pain me to murder a flawless

flower, in my heart I do want to try this. Maybe it will go better than I

think. Perhaps all I need to do is some research to prepare myself. There’s

got to be all kinds of information on the Internet about how to care for an

orchid. How hard can it be if I’m armed with the knowledge I need

I’m a reasonably intelligent person, but I have found that there are some

things I just cannot do. How to properly fold a fitted sheet, whistle, and

math beyond a third-grade level are just a few examples. I’ve made my

peace with this. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. That being

said, growing an orchid is something that I really want to do, and do well.
So, I start looking up tips and how-to’s online. As I’m reading, I think to

myself that it doesn’t seem as daunting as I had envisioned. Orchids

require only a minimal amount of care. I think I can do this! I bookmark

what I’ve looked up, just in case I need to pull it up later. I know myself

pretty well. I will need to look at it again.
I can’t do everything and I don’t want to. The orchid is important to me

because with a little work, I will get something beautiful in return. Any act,

no matter how small, of making the world a more beautiful place is worth

the effort. Beyond that, maybe growing orchids will become sort of a hobby.

It would be such a nice ego boost to have others compliment my

thriving little beauties. Maybe I will inspire my daughters to choose to do

whatever makes them happy. They too, can learn to accept their limitations,

but work towards something they want.

I decide that the next time I am near the grocery store, I will indeed buy

myself an orchid. I’m so excited about this new project of mine. I ask

myself why I’m so wrapped up in a flower. I think about it for a little while,

and I realize it’s not about the orchid. It’s what the orchid represents. If I

can keep an orchid alive, it means I am capable of learning new things

and changing for the better.

Less than a week later, I’m back at that same grocery store. I pick up a tall,

white orchid and smile. Most people would just see a flower and not give it

a second thought. Not me. I see the possibilities.


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