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Winter is rolling along, and it has been a long time since we have seen flowers. You can tell they are coming, but they seem to be waiting in the wings for a cue that it is their turn to show. This morning I noticed the camellias are blooming, our first sign of spring.

Camellias have no business being in our environment. They like acidic soil, and our soil is quite alkaline. They like shade, and this one gets full sun in the afternoon. The bush has been in place for more than ten years and is bigger than I am. Somebody forgot to tell it to be fussy, and it decided to get right on with blooming where it is planted.

We too can be planted in an inhospitable environment. We may have to work long hours or not have enough money. We may be serving as a caregiver, a role that can be depleting to our energy. We are not going to automatically thrive under these conditions. We might just barely get by.

Sometimes, though, at the unlikeliest of times and in the worst of circumstances, we bloom. I don’t know why this happens once in a while but not all the time. It certainly isn’t a matter of our gritting our teeth and spitting out a bloom. Grace just descends following its own timetable, and we soften. We might bloom with tears or with smiles. We might feel uplifted and comforted for no reason at all.

Blooming often happens after a long winter. Our new website bloomed today and trust me there have been some cold dark nights wrestling it into shape. There are a few straggling items that need to be fixed, but it was time, and I counted on you, dear reader, to be forgiving of the glitches.

I hope you bloom today, even just for a moment alive with the hope of the coming spring.


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