Plumeria lessons in the time of COVID-19

Outside my sheltered in place office window are some barren 2 inch twigs that during the summer take on a golden yellow dressing of tropical splendor.  But right now, they are mostly barren.

Before Hurricane Irma, I couldn’t see beyond my office window because the plumeria was so grand and spreading that even the plethora of barren sticks out of season were lovely.  I did watch a frustrated little bird trying to build a nest, though, with all his carefully gathered and set twigs so consistently falling through the cracks that one day he gave up entirely.

The Hurricane twisted out the entire tree and threw its broken limbs across the back yard helter skelter. I carefully gathered them up and replanted each one at the back of the yard to root.  These are miracle plants.  Anywhere you break them, you will get a root at one end and maybe wide green leaves and a flower at the other.

My son came to help after the hurricane and unknown to me, hauled all my ugly sticks out to the road to be hauled away.  I was grateful for his help and didn’t cry.  I was sorry, though, and helped a neighbor rescue a few pieces for her garden.

Then, one day outside my now open view window, the present sticks were set with string and stabilizers and are now growing on their own.  My son had saved me a window garnish.

So many of these COVID-19 days are full of fear, anxiety, uncertainty and the unknown. It’s easy to let the mind get stuck in the ugly and sad.  In reality, however, the natural world has continued at its same pace. My plumeria is now well-rooted, standing alone. Large green leaves at the end of the sticks are offering up the expectation of yellow blooms, a ray of sunshine in a dark world.

The Hurricane destroyed the tree and for all intents and purposes, I believed it was dead and gone.  I was surprised by the new sticks at the window that took root.  And now with a solid root structure, blossoms are in my future view.

This difficult and tragic experience with COVID-19 is a reminder of how quickly things can change from lovely to horrid.  Yet, my plumeria sticks are a reminder that after change, the life force firmly rooted will still blossom.  Hopes and dreams are still ahead.  They may be different, but we will see their beauty spring forth and move forward.





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