Lessons from Paperwhites

My Christmas cactus, (some 25-30 years old now, I’ve lost count.) bloomed right on time. The buds began to open two days before Christmas, and by Christmas the plant was glorious.

Caught the image this morning of paperwhites in a shaft of dawning sun beneath a pecan tree.

I know that paperwhites often bloom in the midst of winter here on the Gulf Coast, but it still takes me by surprise. While I adore the mild winter we are having, I want to shout at the precious blooms: “Wait! Go back! Don’t straggle out and be all finished by the glory of spring. I’m just not ready for your timing!”

Well, one cannot hold back starts and stops in life. Time marches on.

Let me remember that I cannot control the world, and take that into account as I ponder where I’ve been the past year and where I hope to go in the next. Things I want to stop, such as staying up later than I can handle and feeling tired the next day, and things I want to start, like making the bed on a more-or-less daily basis –It’s still not made, I chose to spend these minutes writing here before the precious grands arrive.

Oops, I did not get to finish my thoughts, and the grands landed in here, so there was a break for a lot of hugs and to make breakfast. I’m back now, and laughing at my efforts to catalog hopes and dreams and good intentions in the face of the needs of children and demands and surprises of the world. I am trying, like the men who make and keep calendars that paperwhites do not read, to have a measure of control over my life. So very laughable.

Still it is good exercise for me, all this detailing of my life. At the top of my list goes the hope to accept what is. And I envision and dream of what could be.

Then comes the whisper of something that is timeless, like paperwhites in December:

I’ve written the reminder on a slip of paper and taped it to the wall by my desk. Let me now remember to look at it often.