I've been struggling a lot lately. And, small comfort, I see I am not alone. All the lovely blogs I read are sharing stories of the comparison game. At first I didn't think I struggle with that. I don't look at other people's lives or belongings and think I should have them. I have particular things I have always wanted from the time I was a young child, and those things have nothing to do with what other people have. Outside of that, am quite content.
Then I realized, I do compare in a much more insidious way. More than just wishing I had someone's car or house, I wish for people to see what I am capable of. And I compare that with others. And I know I am capable. And I get disappointed in how things play out.
I also know I am an oddball. I love my oddballness. But, my inability to be inauthentic sometimes leaves me outside the crowd. Sometimes I just have to zig when everyone else is zagging.
Yesterday morning, I was feeling the weight of this. I went outside to water my plants and listen to the birds and be silent.
It was the peony that spoke.
They're not supposed to grow here in my zone. I tried and failed years ago to grow peonies, and nearly gave up. But I'm trying again. I bought a plant in bloom last year. By my calculations, if it didn't come back, it was just like buying a bouquet of fresh flowers. I watched it seemingly die over winter. All the leaves fell off, leaving brown sticks. Dead. I was sure of it. But, it was tucked away in a place I could ignore, and so I did. Then, out of the blue, beneath those dead sticks, for they were dead, tendrils of green pushed through the soil. Oh hello lovely. I stopped ignoring the plant. I visit almost daily. When it's pouring down rain, I look out the window and will it to grow. I've been speaking to it, and yesterday, with one of its blooms just on the edge of bursting out of its tight bud, it spoke to me:
Hold tight. We'll bloom together.