I finally got into my flower beds. I’m late and not proud of it. But because I didn’t have the chance to dig in the dirt earlier, I learned something today.
As I reached down to tug a weed from the soil, I noticed the tiny shoot looked slightly familiar in a very miniature way. Upon close scrutiny I noted a baby alyssum.
No, I am not off my rocker. I was as surprised as you are. Everything I’ve ever known about this dainty flower screams of impossibility. According to The Gardener’s Network, “Alyssum are tender annuals and highly susceptible to frost.”
Hello, I live in Minnesota where frost is warm and below freezing winters are long. Yet I counted not one, but eight babies in two of my beds. They could quite possibly be the cutest things I’ve ever seen. The fact that they shouldn’t exist after a super cold and snowy winter makes them even sweeter. Miraculous even.
Had I tilled my beds and planted on time, they wouldn’t have survived. Their seeds needed to be warmed by the sun and left undisturbed so the sprouts could take root. They grew out of my forced patience.
The writing process is a bit like these annuals. We write, we submit, we edit, we get rejected. We write, submit, edit and get rejected. We find ourselves in a pattern of forced patience. Slowly, we are warmed by the sun and our writing takes root in the fertile soil of our practice. Our forced patience allows for the possibility of beautiful, miraculous and unexpected blooms.
The odds of getting published are about the same as an annual propagating in impossible conditions. Yet those tiny baby alyssum filled me with hope.
They taught me that as long as I continue writing, editing and submitting, I have the ability to succeed. I will not give up, and I will not quit trying.
Instead, I learned something today. We only lose when we let the frost destroy our tender dreams and keep us from reaching our potential. Miracles are patiently nutured, not grown overnight.
May the sun shine and your alyssum bloom!