Meet Rhianne. Rhianne is in her early thirties and has a tremendous love for flowers. Rather than a gardener, she considers herself merely an enthusiast of all things floral. Secretly, she could do without getting her hands all grimy with soil and fertilizer, but she knows that it comes with the territory of having such a fondness for flowers. She shared this love with her favorite aunt who she spent a great deal of time with inside the greenhouse that her late uncle had built for his wife. Shortly before her own passing, Rhianne’s aunt gave her a rare Japanese orchid that the two had dreamed of owning for years. Rhianne treasured its lovely flowers that they both agreed looked like the wings of an angel. And now, this special gift would be given constant attention in memory of the life she shared with her dearly departed aunt who she missed terribly.
One evening, Rhianne was enjoying a cup of coffee at the little shop she and her aunt frequented together when a girl about her age commented on the book she was reading. It had a large purple orchid on its cover and would be hard to miss by a fellow enthusiast which this girl indeed was. After a pleasant conversation, she invited Rhianne to join her and two friends who met each week to just hang out and talk about gardening. Rhianne was excited over the invitation and joined the group of ladies for their next gathering.
While she certainly enjoyed the company of her newfound friends, Rhianne often felt inferior to the level of knowledge each of them was sharing. “They were pros,” she thought as they traded notes over the latest gardening tools and planting techniques. Each spoke of the wide array of flowers they maintained, whereas Rhianne's efforts as of late had become focused on a single orchid. They watched shows and subscribed to periodicals that Rhianne had no knowledge of, and they bonded over sharing opinions that she did not possess. Needless to say, Rhianne felt out of place. “This is going to change,” she thought as she took mental notes that would restructure her to-do list.
By their fifth meeting together, Rhianne was able to talk about all the new tools she had purchased and share her thoughts on the articles and shows the other girls had been enjoying. She also shared with them the selection of flowers she chose for her new garden that covered a large area near her dainty backyard shed. Rhianne had become exhausted over all the new activities she took on, but felt they were worthwhile as her inclusion within this special group of friends became more substantiated. Meanwhile, her treasured orchid became increasingly neglected. She must have walked by it twenty times before realizing its petals had all fallen off, leaving a withered stem in her aunt's ornate planter.
As we follow our hearts, our directions in life can cause us to take on jobs and responsibilities that cloud the love we had at first. What once had a tranquil effect on our souls can become convoluted with stressors, deadlines, and bureaucracy. Instead of scheduling time for reflection amidst our chaotic lives, recapturing our first love often requires a block of time large enough that ensures our time of reflection will not be impacted by the hectic schedules we break away from or the dread of having to return to them. Take some time today to evaluate the pure desires of your heart and whether those desires are being neglected. For me, this refresh requires stepping away from the digital vista of my computer's wallpaper, surrounding myself with people I love, and allowing myself to stand in awe over our earth's beauty. Doing this frequently helps us to clear the debris from our paths and recognize whether we're still traveling the one we chose in the beginning.