I love flowers. I still have not figured out how to keep them alive, but I’m trying. Every summer, I invest in a vast array of potted treasures at the beginning of the season and year round, I consistently have at least one vase filled with a supermarket bouquet. They make me smile despite the clutter that often surrounds them on the kitchen island. My hope when I make a flower purchase of the potted variety is to be able to watch them bloom and thrive for weeks until I eventually plant them in the yard so that I can enjoy them the following year. The reality is most often not in line with my intention. I probably water them too much or maybe too little. They don’t get enough sun or maybe too much. Frankly, I have no idea what I am doing wrong so I often go to my Dad and master horticulturist for advice.

These consultations often begin with:

Me – “My plant is dying.”

Dad – “Are you talking to it?”

Me – “To who??”

Dad – “The plant. You have to talk to it.”

Ok, then. Moving on.

After I promise to “try” that strategy, we work to identify any other potential issues. This year my vibrantly red geraniums have thrived on the front stoop. I was riding high on this triumph and asked my Dad if it was ok at this point to plant them in one of the garden beds. My Dad reported that this particular flower will keep blooming if you pluck the dead flowers off (as opposed to waiting for them to fall off on their own). By getting rid of the decaying flowers, new flowers will bloom more quickly.

These instructions made sense, but looking past face value of his comment, I found a nugget of wisdom. Get rid of the nonsense – the stuff (e.g. work, friendship, lifestyle) that isn’t blossoming anymore. What once was a joy is now holding you back from thriving. It’s holding you back from realizing your potential and being your best, most beautiful self. The person you were meant to be.

I find the cadence of fall and the fresh start a new school year to be a season of transition, renewal, and a perfect time carry this message from Mother Nature (and my Dad) with me.