Today, I sat down to write, and when I looked outside, I saw
Tula…my hibiscus tree.
The one my man got me for our one year anniversary of dating, yes,
She was so pretty when she first arrived —
Bright pink petals pushing out from thin twigs that
Wrapped themselves around each other into a twist,
That’s what she used to look like. Now?
As I sit and look at her, I can’t help but be sad by her state.
No longer are there any pink petals or green leaves.
Only twigs remain.
We did go through a change of seasons —
Fall and winter came and went, and as cold as it gets during those times, I
Knew Tula wouldn’t be in bloom then
But now that spring has arrived, and I see the other bigger tree beginning to sprout its green leaves, I
See Tula’s bare twigs and wonder if maybe
Her bare being is reflective of the care I’ve taken, not of her, but of myself.
Because all through the fall and winter, I too shed leaves like a hibiscus tree.
My petals were pulled off by me and my
Self-sabotaging tendencies, I
Viewed other plants and how they grew,
And envied the way they looked,
Wishing I could be like them.
When all the while, I should have been tending to my own roots, and
Waiting for the spring to come around,
Praying for the Lord to show me who I am so that I
Didn’t have to fear the way that others looked in comparison to me.
So, in a way, when I look at Tula, I see myself.
And I wish that I’d taken better care of the both of us. I wish I’d spent more time with my Creator, speaking to Him and
Depending on His view of me rather than
Caring too much about the other plants He made.
I look at Tula, and I fear that we won’t bear fruit or flower this season.
I wonder if maybe it’s too late for us.
But I still have some hope —
I took the time to water her today with some nutrients good for her soil,
And I fed her some food to help her grow along with the sunshine and warm weather we’ve got these days.
As for me…I know there is hope.
And I must do the same things:
Water myself, be fed the best spiritual Food there is (the Word),
And let it nourish my soul.
I look forward to see in the days to come just how much Tula and I have grown.
But our growth shouldn’t stop once we bloom.
No, even before we bloom, may we help others grow too.
May we look at other flowers and trees without envy, and admire them
For we do not know the journey they took to become what they are now.
So, let us water those who need it and
Celebrate those who have surpassed us.
For these are signs of sure growth as well.