Several years ago an unusual storm swept through the Phoenix Valley, pelting anything outdoors with golf ball size hail. This small cactus happened to be caught in the volley of hail flung from the sky that day.
Over the years it has struggled to survive. I’ve often wondered if it would make it, and some have suggested I throw it out. After all it wasn’t very pretty to look at and didn’t appear to be doing much. There was something in my heart that wouldn’t allow me to do that. I figured if the damage was too great it would have died. However the scars healed, it remained green, and even though it wasn’t flourishing it was holding its own.
I found myself talking to this plant every time I passed it on my way out the back door or when I watered it, carefully watched its progress. As you likely know, watching a cactus grown is a slow process. There wasn’t much change other than the scarred area hardening and the cactus remaining green.
A few weeks ago I walked out on the patio and noticed two big buds had appeared overnight. After two years of remaining fairly dormant while it healed the cactus was ready to bloom. I could hardly wait, and watched daily for the blossoms to open.
Within a couple of days the buds had developed enough to bloom and beautiful yellow flowers appeared. During the heat of the afternoon they’d open their petals as if to welcome in the sun and magic of the afternoon, and during the evening they would close to rejuvenate themselves in the cool evening air. These were some of the most beautiful blooms I’ve ever seen.
Sitting on the patio one morning with the cactus I paused to reflect on my own life, as well as the lives of those who pass through Fire Horse Ranch, both human and animal. How resilient we are. How sometimes the blossoms after the scars are more brilliant and breathe taking, because of the scars. How sometimes we simply need to rest and rejuvenate our body, mind, and spirit so we can re-emerge in spectacular fashion. And how sometimes, it’s also nice to have someone else who believes in us.
We each have our stories and scars, as well as beautiful moments when we blossom. Celebrate each, as they mold and shape life. Life changes and transitions can leave us feeling a bit scarred and dormant like this cactus. Yet too, these same transitions can move us to new and unexpected moments of beauty – moments where we bloom bigger and better than we can imagine.