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Education

Forcing Bulbs

Forcing Bulbs

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We are just entering spring and the last of my bulbs are blooming. From November to March I try to keep flowers blooming in my house. I think there is something very welcoming and homey about having plants blooming in the house in the winter.  It reminds us that winter is not forever, even though this was such a mild winter, and that the possibility of spring is right around the corner. 

The last of my bulbs is a crooked purple-y blue hyacinth that doesn’t look as good as it smells and just the hint of that hyacinth makes me smile. I have already cut back and fed the amaryllis and paper white narcissus and put them away till next season.  I tried to get a few tulips to bloom but they were resistant to my ministrations and I wasn’t able to force the bulbs to bloom; and that got me thinking.  Why is it that some bulbs bloom easily indoors and others will not?  What is it about the conditions for those resistant bulbs that make it possible for them to grow leaves but no flowers? Even with the right soil and light and food the greens grow but there is no bloom.

Is there a lesson here for each of us? Are we blooming, sending out vibrant flowers with rich scent, where we are planted? Do we get the food, and water, and light and overall care we need to prolong our flowering period while even storing enough to jumpstart the next season? Or, have we have planted ourselves where we can get the greens to grow but there is no possibility of finding that extra something that allows us to bloom? Even worse are we planted in a place where we can’t even get the greens to grow!

For much of our lives we are focused on others, working inside or outside the home, taking care of those around us. Men and women, as mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, or grandparents we often have multiple responsibilities and we don’t give it much thought we just grow where we are planted. But I would like to suggest that we would do well to do an assessment, take an inventory, and evaluate just what kind of bulb we are and what do we need to thrive?  Where should we be planted?

I think that reflecting on what we need in the environment to encourage our growth, help us thrive, is a worthy use of our time. Modeling that reflection process and searching for the enriched environment that allows us to “bloom” sends a clear message to those around us. Finding the place where we can thrive is a good investment of our time and it is also our responsibility.