The Tulips

As I sit waiting for my oldest, I think I should have brought my brackets – men’s and women’s NCAA basketball.  Or I should have brought my lap top.  I could be writing.  Instead I am scribbling words on a magazine subscription card.

I just heard the weather forecast on the radio.  I am thrilled!  I may be incorrect.  Yes,  there may be something I am not good at – Ha! Ha!  I swore when this spell of warmth started that we would see snow again.  Technically, we couls as nights are cold.  It does not, at least in the short term, seem we will.  Highs in the 60′s for a few days, rain possible at the end of the full day seems spring  may be here to stay.

Yesterday, as I did some home maintenance, I noticed the tulips had pushed a good few inches through the ground.  I wonder how these fragile greens can poke through hand, sometimes still frozen, ground.  Where did they get their strength, in their fragility?

Spring bloomers, like the tulips, have an inner strength like many people I know.  These people are fragile yet still have the strength to push through life’s trials and tribulations.

There are those with health issues – chronic illness, seasonal sickness.  He may stumble due to this health but ultimately he continues to parent, to work.  He has those few inches of stem poking out of the hard ground.

There are those who are facing financial problems.  She can barely make ends meet but manages to pay the bills until that month when, like trying to poke through totally frozen ground, everything happens at once – the electric disconnect, the cable/phone/internet disconnect, the car insurance all due at once.  The money, that evil necessity that has never been the sparkle in her eye, is coming but not at the right time, not in time.  She manages.  She knows who can loan her what she needs.  She know which bills can be put off.  She breaks through the ground slowly, hesitantly, like the tulips, hoping a freeze is not on the way.

Every now and then, words just flow out without a lesson necessarily.  I would say that we should all realize we don’t know what is happening with our perennials anymore than we do with our neighbors.  We help the flowers by covering them when a freeze is imminent.  We need to help our neighbors when possible, too.

22 thoughts on “The Tulips

  1. Nicki, I love your closing paragraph. Just beautiful. The metaphor of the tulip bulbs is so lovely. This is so true, an idea I come back to often: everyone has their own private burdens, stresses, and sorrows. No matter how happy people appear, how perfect their life seems, we all face challenges. Being kind and having empathy for others is so important.

  2. My husband and I have marveled over the course of the past year at the extent to which we have been unaffected by the economy. Just last week a good friend’s husband lost his job and they are scrambling to figure out health insurance and other needs. I love the idea of protecting them from a freeze. But it’s hard to know how to do it without insulting or doling out unwanted charity.

    • It is hard to help sometimes. People have pride but sometimes even that needs to be set aside. If your friends have children, maybe just offering – if you can – to watch the children so interviews can be done to find new work would help.

  3. Very, very nice. My wife plants a pretty epic garden every year and I don’t know if any other 100 foot patch on earth has more metaphors in it.

    You are a very good writer. I hope you know it!

  4. I am deeply moved by these beautiful words, Nicki.

    And this line: “I would say that we should all realize we don’t know what is happening with our perennials anymore than we do with our neighbors.” So true.

    Thanks.

  5. Beautiful post Nicki. I love how you compared the flowers to our neighbors. I need to remind myself of that as I often take to heart a neighbor or friend’s reclusiveness or quietness and wonder what I may have done, when in fact… I really do not know what is going on inside their home or their heart.

  6. I don’t see them anymore living in Arizona, but growing up in Chicago it was always an amazing sign of spring – the tulips pushing up, sometimes through snow or grass or who knew where? They were so dependable like that.

  7. I love the analogy of comparing people to tulips. Everyone’s perception is their reality and you reminded us that sometimes there are things going on at the root.

    Nice to meet you. I found you through Aidan at ILI.

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