Lessons from My Morning Glories

Written by on October 4, 2007 in The Healing Journey with 0 Comments

Yesterday, I wrote a post in Miyasan’s Daughter about Morning Glories from my childhood.

Early this spring, I planted morning glories at the foot of my two hand rails to my front porch step. I started them as seedlings and then carefully planted them into the ground. The two sides started off the same, and in no time their graceful green tendrils climbed up the posts and up the wooden railings.

A few short weeks later, I spied my first blossom, and I was so excited. To my delight each day brought forth a few more blossoms. Every morning I knew I could count on waking up to new beautiful light blue almost white faces with a dark blue star in the middle. I was delighted.

But something strange started to happen…

Looking out my window I could see only the right railing of green was blooming with color. The left had not a single blossom…for weeks. I inspected the leaves, looking for signs of bugs or disease or something, but could find nothing. The vines began to grow tiny green buds of flowers, and some of them had been eaten off – not sure by who, for I never found the perpetrators. The untouched buds remained small, showing promise of what they could be, but nothing more.

It was aggravating. I wanted my flowers…on both sides!

In the meantime, the flowers on the right just kept blossoming in tender explosions every morning. Why were the morning glories on the left refusing to bloom? They both had the same exposure to the sun, same water, same soil…what was wrong with them?

Then I began to notice something. The plants on the right began losing their leaves at the base. They were losing their color and some of them were shriveling and turning brown. In the meantime, their flowers kept coming, but it seemed almost at the expense of the leaves now, as if somehow all this blooming was draining the life out of them.

Then suddenly, quietly and without fanfare, the vines on the left began to blossom…and blossom…and blossom. Until they were just as proficient as their neighbors to the right. Only they had all their leaves intact, rich and dark, their flowers surrounded by lush green life.

And what at first, seemed precocious and wonderful, now seemed premature and hasty.

The morning glory plants on my right railing have all but lost their leaves toward the base now, and have thinned out considerably as they go up the rail. They still bloom, but the leaves look sickly and even the healthier ones further up have thinned out. The morning glories on the left have many, many blooms and beautiful heart shaped leaves that exude health.

Without a doubt, my right railing will be bare before the left and maybe even before the first frost hits. What a contrast they were, and what a difference in how that contrast looks like now.

How much are we like this? How impatient do we become in our hurry to bloom? How many times have we in our excitement to grow and bloom, have forgotten to build our own foundation?

How many children move into adolescence and adolescence into adulthood before they are ready, not willing to take the time to be where they are? How many parents push them?

We want to write our books without learning the skills of grammar, be the next hit singer without the knowledge of proper techiques, start a business without the research, the relationship without the space in our hearts. We just want it now.

We might start off with a brilliance of color and pagentry, like my dear impatient morning glories, but in the end, without the foundation to sustain us, we can barely cling on to the rail and even the flowers we do manage to bloom begin to look pathetic.

When I get impatient with myself…which is often and easy to do, when I think I “should be” this or “should be” that, or I want to see results now, I’ll stop to think about my very wise morning glories, the ones who took the weeks to absorb the sun into their leaves, to grow those leaves, so that when the time was right they could focus on the flowers. The flowers that everyone loves, the ones that bring the bees, the butterflies, the recognition and acknowledgment from life that they have done well.

And they have done well, truly…so that they can keep doing well. And I can do well with patience and sustainability, because I will be mindful of these lessons my green and flowering friends have taught me.

And once more, as in my childhood, these morning glories make me smile.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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About the Author

About the Author: Demian Yumei, author, singer/songwriter and artist activist, uses spoken, written word and original songs in her human rights activism. "For the Sake of Love” is her collection of songs written on Demian's healing journey, and “Little Yellow Pear Tomatoes” is a children’s book she wrote for her daughter about the interconnectedness of life published by Illumination Arts and endorsed by Jane Goodall. Currently, Demian is working on recording episodes for her podcast and writing on the "Where There's Smoke Series on Covert Abuse". .

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