May 23, 2015
(This is part of a 365 project during my 70th year where I write and illustrate a blog on each day's gift.)
I thought last spring would be the end. Last year, the rhododendron plants barely bloomed. They looked sickly and I figured that they had lived out their life on the south side of our house. These plants were here when we moved into this house in 1981.
But I wasn’t ready to give up yet. Close to the end of summer in 2014, I trimmed the bushes back and added some enriched mulch around the base of the plants. I pretty much have a black thumb so I wasn’t expecting any miracles. This year when the azaleas burst out in a vibrant array on the north side, the rhododendron on the other side had some spotted leaves and a few buds that looked like they were going nowhere. Now the azaleas are past their peak but the magenta rhododendrons are basking in their glory. I like to think that I had something to do with reviving them. Whoever would have thought that a trim and some good dirt might make such a difference?
Now I’ve learned not to give up my expectations and to act as an instrument of change. Just my small actions probably made a huge difference. It’s possible too that small actions every day can effect change in human lives. Smile at a stranger who seems to be under a cloud, give a word of encouragement to someone who is struggling, find something good to say when too many negatives seem to dominate, reach out to an old friend you haven’t seen for a while. Little things do make a difference and I believe the rhododendron will bloom again.
My gift today is magenta in bloom.