Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Perilous Plight of the Persistent Petunia

Look at this picture and tell me what you see.  This is in my hometown of Climax Michigan, on the side steps of SoundStage One, a recording studio.  We're not that different than lots of other small towns all across America.  We have a liquor store and a post office.  We have a restaurant/bar, cows, cornfields, a church...and a recording studio.  And we have steps like these where people pause to eat ice cream.

When I came upon this site, the first thing I noticed was how large and full these flower baskets are.  They're colorful and lovely, made up of lots of individual flowers all bunched up together, sharing their beauty to create something bigger and more substantial than they could be alone.  They are a community of blooms.  Each a little different, but working together to enhance our little corner of Kalamazoo County. And then I noticed the Persistent Petunia!!! (Cue the dramatic music!)

I love this little flower!

I can relate to this little one's plight.  How many times has he felt like he's looking up at something more complete, more meaningful than his little old self, that he just doesn't belong to.  How many times has he wished to join them, but his roots hold him back.  He has lovely blooms, too, but just a couple, and a few little leaves. He's felt completely alone.  A total outsider.  In this photo, his blooms are bold and daring. When I passed by there the next day, someone had noticed him and tried to pull him out because he doesn't follow the rules.  He doesn't grow where the others grow. That's not where he was planted. He's doing the best he can to spread love and happiness exactly where he is.  He is truly persistent.  

But what does that really mean?  I invite you to look at the definition and find yourself in it.

1:  existing for a long or longer than usual time or continuously: as
a :  retained beyond the usual period <a persistent leaf>
b :  continuing without change in function or structure<persistent gills>
c :  effective in the open for an appreciable time usually through slow volatilizing <mustard gas is persistent>
d :  degraded only slowly by the environment <persistentpesticides>
e :  remaining infective for a relatively long time in a vector after an initial period of incubation <persistent viruses>
a :  continuing or inclined to persist in a course(see persist)
b :  continuing to exist despite interference or treatment <apersistent cough> 

So, where did you find yourself in "persistence"? Are you "continuing without change in function or structure"?  Is that a good thing? Are you "degraded only slowly by the environment" or perhaps, "continuing to exist despite interference or treatment".  How can you be more like our little Petunia friend?  
Speaking of which, where do you find yourself in this photo?  
Are you the tall yellow flowers in the basket, proudly giving height to this community, leading them upward in their pursuit of beauty?  Are you trailing out and down the side of the basket, reaching down to the base of the flowerpot, spreading color and interest where there was once just a plain wooden barrel holding dirt. Are you one little pink bloom, counting on all the other blooms around you to be beautiful together?  
Or are YOU the Persistent Petunia?  

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