Trouble is, it started this marvellous endeavour in December and Snapdragons usually flower in the Spring.
There are other flowers in my garden (not many, admittedly, as it’s winter and my garden tends to get abandoned ’til at least March), but they’re winter flowering varieties. I expect them to be making some effort. But this little chap doesn’t seem to have got the memo.
This Snapdragon is flourishing – almost defiantly, forcing its way out through an invisible gap in the paving. It seems to declare: “I am here! I am growing! I will survive – and without your help!”
At the beginning of the month, I decided I wanted to ‘pay attention’ a little more: take time to notice those small but unusual things which might point to something bigger. Rather like the way we might spot buds in the hedgerows, or crocuses beginning to peek out, as a sign of Spring. In the same way I set myself the challenge to be a little more aware, to look for clues and listen out for the soft voice of God which might be leading me somewhere new.
Whether you’re a Christian or not, when something happens out of season or unexpectedly, it does tend to grab your attention. It makes you stop, maybe look twice and think: Well, why is this happening? What’s going on here? What is this telling me?
Sometimes things happen when we don’t expect them. Doors open up and opportunities occur when we’re not ready, or sooner than we thought. Are we ready to respond to the unexpected? Can we be flexible enough to change our minds and our thinking, when something happens which we weren’t expecting for a while? This little Snapdragon speaks of things happening out of season, and without outside interference. The seed did exactly what it was supposed to: it germinated, sprouted, grew and flowered exactly as it was meant to, but at a time no-one expected.
Are we ready and prepared for the unexpected? Can we be flexible enough to adapt if our long-term plans suddenly land in our laps with three months notice? Snapdragons don’t seem to mind – would we turn down an opportunity, just because we didn’t think we were ready…?
Answers on a postcard…