Spring is a season of change. This weekend our clocks will move forward into daylight saving time. Three years ago exactly, I was spending my last night in London before moving back to the states. And nine years ago I gave notice to my law firm that I was leaving to take a new job in seattle.
So many other things have changed since then. Pandemics, relationships, promotions, goldfish. Some things start or get better; others get worse or end. Some are cyclical. And some seem to get stuck, and you wonder if they’ll ever change—but eventually they do.
Shortly after I started the job in seattle nine years ago, my boss gave me a cutting from one of his orchid plants. I had harboured a secret aspiration to be an orchid grower and was eager to try. But nothing happened. For years it sat. And sat, and sat. The world around it changed, and still it sat. I stopped hoping, and set it in a corner where at least the leaves would add some interest.
But then this year, in the dark of winter—lo, a little shooting stem. And then two more. Sending out alien spaceship pods that burst open into giant dangling spiders. They’re glorious and heavily fragrant during the day. A happy little victory that seems to have had very little to do with what I did or how hard I tried, just the work of time and nature and patience.
Let’s see how many years until the next time.
Sometimes we get beautiful consolations that might just be the grace our heart needs to soothe the sting of things which didn’t work out as we’d hoped.