“One day you’ll look back and see that all along you were blooming”. - Morgan Harper Nichols
You’ve probably seen the now Insta-famous quote as you’ve scrolled through various social media channels the past few years. Honestly, I thought about not using it because of how ubiquitous it has become, but it truly is such a good one—and perfect for our April theme: Blooming.
Blooming: The act of flourishing and prospering within a new season
Motherhood is unquestionably the definition of a “new season.” Yes, you are fostering a brand-new life in the tiny human you hold in your arms, but it’s a new season for you as well. It doesn’t matter if this baby is your first or your sixth, each entrance into motherhood is fresh and unknown. We might have a little bit better idea about what we’re doing with each subsequent babe—at least in terms of logistics—but every time your family grows a little bigger, the one who is thrust into a new season is you, mama.
Within my rib cage — there is a garden always in bloom.
Let’s go back to science class for a little bit. How does a flower know when to bloom?
To ensure flowering at the correct time, plants rely on a range of environmental factors, including sunlight and temperature, which help to tell them when to start flowering. These factors are all linked together in a complex network. This complex network also helps plants to not incorrectly respond to a single flowering environmental cue.
Most flowering plants bloom in order to perpetuate themselves. It’s their way of attracting pollinators so that they can set seeds to produce a new generation. Some plants flower with such abandon that it seems as if their only purpose is to fill the world with color. Azaleas, roses, and French marigolds all demonstrate this ability. Yet even the most prolific plants require certain conditions in order to flower freely, or indeed at all.
“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.” - Georgia O’Keefe
I’m always enamored by flowers I see blooming in the most unlikely places. Flowers have been found to bloom through little cracks in the rocks on high mountains. Flowers are found growing through slight clefts in tall buildings. A Lotus blooms in dirty water, but it is one of the purest flowers of all.
We may struggle postpartum before making the decision to unfold our petals and allow ourselves to bloom. Our heart may be aching for warm sunshine and blossoming flowers, but blooming requires the perfect balance of nourishing and nurturing. Flowers bloom to the fullest extent only if tended to properly. It all starts with being open and giving yourself the permission to grow.
When we plant a seed we don’t worry about how nature is going to turn that seed into a sprout, then a plant, and then a bloom. We don’t worry about what’s going on beneath the soil. We don’t feel like failure even though we can’t see the physical results of our planting yet. We trust the timing. We know if we provide the right environment for growth that beneath the surface there’s something beautiful beginning to stir.
Describe yourself as a flower. Are you lush and wayward? Are you stolid and spiky? Do you need constant watering, or maybe you thrive in torrid environments? Are you tender and flowering, or hardy and perennial? What colors are your petals, and how do they make you feel? Don’t get too caught up in imagining the kind of flower you feel like you should be. Focus on the type of flower you believe you are, or that you want to grow into.
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