Sunday, March 14, 2010

Unexpected Beauty

Good Morning!

The newsletter is going out a little later than usual today. We had a long day yesterday, rising at 3:30 am to travel to Mobridge, SD, to spend the day with their quilt guild. I taught a class using the "Fox & Geese" pattern by Eleanor Burns. We talked a lot about Eleanor's special way of "doing things", her rulers, and her carefully thought out instructions. She is truly the "Queen of Quilt Making."
It was a great day, but the drive home in the fog last night was crummy. We were really glad to get home, and I promised everyone that we would sleep in. With the time change, we're getting off to a late start.
For the next week or two, it will be a challenge to get Matthew to school an hour earlier than usual. But, I promise not to complain, as this is a necessary evil on the pathway to spring. At the class yesterday, we all agreed that "Spring can't come soon enough!"

An unexpected result of our power outage is the emergence of beautiful blossoms on my old Christmas cactus. This plant has sat tucked away in a corner for a few years, gathering dust, so familiar that I pretty much forgot I had it.
A couple of weeks ago, small fuchsia buds began to appear on the tips of the thick leaves. Then, little blossoms. When the full flowers developed, we couldn't believe the beauty. I honestly didn't think the little plant had so much potential.

And, in my naivety, I wondered if the plant was trying to tell me something. It's supposed to bloom at Christmas, and it's nearly Easter. Did that mean more winter months ahead?

I turned to my usual source, Wikipedia, and learned that "Christmas cactus will create flower buds when subjected to cooler temperatures (10–14 degrees Celsius / 50–57 °F) for 6–8 weeks." I guess two weeks in a cold house without electricity will do it. I also learned that "If taken care of properly, a single planting can last for hundreds of years." Wow! I'm definitely going to be more attentive.

The unexpected beauty is a heartwarming sight. Each time I walk past the little plant, I admire the blossoms, and appreciate the loveliness. It serves as a fore-bearer of spring... re-birth... new growth... blossoms and berries... warm rays of sunshine pushing fresh green shoots up through the topsoil... baby calves & lambs kicking up their heels as their mamas stand contentedly in lush pastures, grass up to their knees...
It's supposed to be in the 50's on Wednesday... followed by more snow.

Spring can't come soon enough!

Top photo (crocus) courtesy of Wikipedia.  Second photo (Christmas cactus) is my own.