Sunday, June 28, 2009

changing seasons

The question is, is this a Christmas cactus or an Easter cactus?

I can't remember when I bought it or the "season" when it is "supposed" to flower. A friend told me a few years ago that cactuses flower much more prolifically if they are put outside in the summer, and so I duly put mine - some Christmas, some Easter - outside in the garden. What I neglected to do was to bring them inside again last autumn.

This one survived our unusually cold winter - a little battered and forlorn. But look at it now! It has become a Summer cactus.

Is it flowering from the sheer exuberance of being still alive, despite its winter trauma? is it trying to remind me of its existence to avoid future neglect? Or maybe it was too worn out to flower at Easter and this is a deferred unseasonal glory.

I have also been feeling the sheer exuberance of being alive after prolonged stress of various life-changing kinds. It feels like a change of season which I've felt hints and warm breaths of for some time amidst the storms, but which is finally flowering and settling.

My work trauma seems to be sorted out. I'll not, after all, be leaving the University but I'll be moving into a new area of work supporting students through transition into higher education and helping students with a history of failure. This is an unexpected change in direction and I'm hugely relieved to be leaving my School within the university and taking on something different. I'd never have expected such change at this stage in my life, but I'm really welcoming it - especially at this stage in my life. Change is good.

Its not a guaranteed long-term future, but its promising. And its quite enough for now. I am now looking forward to the start of term in September, rather than dreading it.

M is leaving the University for good and following up a recent new work opportunity and theres some uncertainty and financial anxiety - he'd not ever have chosen such radical change, but he's also welcoming it.


And made4aid is still new and exciting and I have no doubt that a big part of why I acted on my 'good idea' [rather than just mentally shelving it] was because of the antidote it offered to stress at work. Far better to think about made4aid at 4am in the morning than to be worrying at the intractable sticking-in-the-throat mangey old bone of work-misery.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3

We had an extreme and extremely unseasonal storm yesterday afternoon.

It broke rudely into our blazing June, hurling gobbets of ice which ricocheted around like frozen popcorn.

And afterwards the air smelled and felt clear and wonderful.


mum said...

great, Lettuce. Best to you all.

Shammickite said...

I had a cactus of the same persuasion, and it really benefitted from spending it's summers outside and rewarded me with pale pink blooms at Christmastime. Until I forgot to bring it in one October, and it expired during our severe Canadian winter.
Your cactus is telling you that change can sometimes bloom unexpectedly!
Love the hailstone video. Storms really clear the air, don't they?

ArtSparker said...

The new work sounds really challenging and interesting, and I hope you will also have some fun coworkers. A lovely post.

Akelamalu said...

I had both an Easter and a Christmas cactus and both flowered but not at Easter and not at Christmas!

tony said...

The New Job Sounds Good.It's good to move in a different direction.
Your first photo reminds me! I have an old Christmas gathering dust somewhere in my house.'must go & find it,it gonna be thirsty!

Ronda Laveen said...

I am not sure on the cactus. For me the just seem to bloom when the bloom. It is certainly a gorgeous photo, though.

Unexpected change is good, I think. It keeps one young, interested and interesting. Would you just look at the size of that hail?!!!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I'm sure everything will work out just as it should. Change is not only good, it's a constant (though I suppose we seldom see it that way). But isn't it wonderful to have a new opportunity to grow and learn - and leave all that other stuff behind you. Good luck with it all, Lettuce.

Poetikat said...

Absolutely gorgeous photograph of the cactus (regardless of the season).

Ah! Yes. Welcome to the wonderful world of hail. It's pretty common in my neck of the woods - pelting down in pea,marble and occasionally the more destructive golf-ball-size.

I hope it didn't damage anything where you are.


Lynne said...

Such a pretty cactus! Mine have flowered at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and just recently. I think they are confused. My mom used to "starve" them and then they only bloomed once. I water mine throughout and am thanked with loads of blooms ... whenever!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

in the settling and changing there seems to be just an abundance of great new possibilities (and relief!!)

yes, the cactus is somewhat prophetic or metaphorical.

I love how everything is after a great storm!


joyce said...

fresh new winds. I love to hear of it.