In a reblooming kalanchoe, is there hope?
Today's prompt in the Author Blog Challenge is "What is the single best piece of advice you've ever received about the publishing process and/or what advice would you offer to a first-time author?"
That single piece of advice I learned from this challenge was "never give up hope."
Hope of what? Hope of achieving your goals. Sometimes, just not giving up hope of survival. I knew, before the Challenge, that becoming a published author was hard. Now I have a better idea of just how hard and grueling it can be. In the midst of the struggle, a beginning author must believe in him or herself, and never give up hope that it will get better, that the goals will be achieved, that the hard work will pay off.
And then there is the story of the kalanchoe.
I have a neighbor who is seriously ill and probably will stay that way for the rest of his life. Sometimes, he sits outside in the sunshine, enjoying the small garden he and his wife have planted next to their rental house. I hope he enjoys the view of my front yard, with the flowers, the sometimes untidy herb bed, and my "flood angel".
Some months ago, before he was diagnosed with this illness, he was in the hospital for another reason. Someone gave him a kalanchoe as a get-well gift. A kalanchoe, for the uninitiated, is a succulent plant with small blooms, which come in a variety of colors. They can be quite pretty.
Ah, those hospital gift plants. You get them from people who know that flowers may not be the ideal gift. Flowers die after a few days, and if your recipient is allergic, those flowers are the gift that brings misery. Now, a flowering plant, that's slightly different. There's a hope of keeping the plant alive after it finishes blooming. A foliage plant? Even better.
My neighbor, after a period of enjoying the kalanchoe, offered it to me. I hesitated for a minute before accepting the plant. I take flowering plants seriously. I have two poinsettias in my upstate NY yard right now, along with two amaryllis. Any flowering plant I receive will get the best care I know how to give. I can't bear to have one die on me, although I have blogged about my less than stellar track record with orchids.
I hesitated because a few years ago, I got a kalanchoe as a gift. I kept it alive on my windowsill for a couple of years. It never rebloomed and eventually it succumbed to white flies.
I kept this one alive all winter on my living room table. Come late spring, it went outside, where I figured it would have a better chance of escaping white flies.
Last night, I went out to water my back yard potted plants, and this sight awaited me.
My neighbor's kalanchoe is starting to rebloom.
There's a moral here somewhere.