Posted by: bwoof | May 9, 2010

Wisteria wonder!

Earlier this week a colleague shared the good news that wisteria was flourishing in his back yard! I tried not to covet but wished that our own long-planted and well-tended vine would do the same.

If you don’t already know, wisteria is extraordinarily beautiful IF you can get it to bloom. It’s a vine that is far too heavy for its own good, therefore, it needs very substantial support (i.e., a strong tall trellis, a tall mature tree, or something similar). Don’t expect it to grow up on chicken wire.

Not only does it need support but it needs time…lots of it. And even then don’t expect miracles. We’ve been waiting for years…literally, for the vine in our yard to do something spectacular. Green leaves are all we’ve had.

This morning I took the dog out for a backyard ‘business’ trip and he happened to park himself under a forlorn bent-over but thick and unsupported wisteria that we’d parked back there just because it was doing no good on the side of the house. It’s been back there for quite a while, hidden behind some scotch pines and with not much to hang onto.

Wonder of wonders!!!! For the first time that I can remember there are blooms! And not only have they found their way to the back wall, but surprisingly they have run way way up a Scotch Pine tree to places I’d never even dreamed of! Seriously, it’s like a miracle to me! A beautiful Mother’s Day miracle.

So, why you ask, is this such a big deal? Well, you see, I’m an educator in a tough part of town, and I’ve long had an intuitive sense that I can’t expect an immediate return on all our hard work and investment in kids. No! Working in this business is more like tending a wisteria vine than planting annuals. There is no quick fix, no fast way to pretty up the scenery, no splash of colour to make things seem OK.

Nope…education for me is more like watching that vine, year after year, do nothing. You know its DNA says that it wants to flower, but it just doesn’t. Furthermore it needs LOTS of support. LOTS! And still nothing happens. In fact, it’s easier to give up and just trash the thing…banish it to the back corner where no one can see it.


Someday, one day, that vine will surprise and delight, and give hope.

So, there I was this morning, astonished to see that not only has my vine flowered, but it’s gone higher than I’d every imagined it would go. It’s all gnarly and bent on the bottom part where I’d been looking all the time, and where the dog visits (smelly!) all the time. Who would have thought that out of such a place such beauty would surprise me.

And…to top it off, it’s Mother’s Day and for various reasons I have no kids home right now. So, I’m thinking of all my students and wondering where their blooms will be someday….someday! Perhaps a little bit of the Divine met me this morning, just to remind me to keep gardening, even if I never get to see the blossoms. But on those rare occasions when I do see, then it’s time to be thankful, gather up the HOPE and keep on going.

Grateful for:

  • Laura, Ryan, Krista, Jonny
  • Wes!
  • Julie’s talk today
  • wisteria surprises
  • text messages from Israel and Jordan

Curious about:

  • how to grow herbs

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