Although the mimosa tree in my grandparents’ yard taught me to have patience as a child, I didn’t understand the lesson until she was cut down. I’ve always struggled with being patient. I used to get annoyed in school when I’d finish my work and had to wait for others to finish. I used to get annoyed playing video games when I had to wait for my lives or strength to replenish. I used to get annoyed about my long bus route to and from school. Do I have to even mention my impatience with getting my hair done? Relaxers, braids, curls, sitting under the dryer – my level of impatience was at a 1,000,000. The only time I recall not struggling with being patient is when it came to the waiting for the mimosa tree to blossom. I was never annoyed about having to wait for springtime.
Growing up, I patiently waited each season for the tree to blossom so I could see the beautiful animals she would attract; butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and birds; it was always a beautiful sight. I used to spend hours outside with this tree; climbing branches, playing with the leaves, sitting in the opening of the tree, or trying to catch the butterflies on her branches. As I grew older, I liked sitting on the porch and just admiring the tree for her beauty. I always expected the butterflies to come to the front yard each year because that’s what they’d been doing since I was a little girl.
All these years I was patiently waiting each season for the butterflies to come and then one season, the tree was gone, and so were the butterflies. When this picture was captured in 2018, I didn’t realize it was the last picture I’d take of a butterfly in my favorite mimosa tree. I knew the tree was older than me, but I never thought I'd lose her. When the tree was cut down, I was heartbroken. Where are the butterflies gonna go now when spring comes? Will they still visit the front yard? Will I still be able to capture butterfly pictures? Will they still fly around the plants like they used to?
In addition to being heartbroken about the tree being gone, I also felt lost. Every year since I was a little girl, I KNEW the tree would blossom. What was I gonna patiently wait on now? When I took this picture, I was reminded of how I had to patiently wait each season to see the tree blossom and the butterflies come to visit. I applied that same concept to my life, or so I thought. While writing this post, I’m realizing how much I’m still greatly struggling with being patient.
Writing this blog post was difficult because this life lesson is a constant reminder to myself. I tried to write this blog post yesterday, but I kept having to focus on other tasks. This made me feel aggravated, annoyed, pissed off, and impatient because I’m supposed to blog my thoughts and feelings daily. Instead of acting out of emotion, I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to process my feelings and understand why I was annoyed about things not going MY way. I tried to understand why it was so hard for me to be patient with posting my blog. Why did I beat myself up for not blogging yesterday? I didn’t not blog because I was being lazy. I didn’t blog yesterday because I didn’t have time.
Once the mimosa tree was cut down, it taught me that instead of patiently waiting for her to blossom every year, I need to redirect that patience to my life and the goals I have set for myself. I need to be patient and wait for MY season of blossoming. Writing this post reiterates how I need to continue being patient with every aspect of my life. I realized writing these blog posts are as meaningful to me as being a clinical social worker, taking nature pictures, and writing my book. Just like I had to be patient and wait every year for the tree to blossom and the butterflies to come, I need to be patient now and wait for the appropriate times to complete my tasks.
I’m really sad I’ll never get to bond with the mimosa tree in the way we bonded when I was a little girl. Just like the mimosa tree had to wait patiently for her season to blossom; so do I. I’m excited to see how I’ll blossom in each of my seasons; I just gotta be a little more patient.
· Be patient and wait for your season.
How I Apply it to My Life:
· I practice patience with everything; growing in my profession, growing my nature photography business, being slow to become angry, paying off debts, and most importantly, I’m patient throughout this journey of becoming the woman God created me to be.
· JoJo – Butterflies
This song always reminds me of the butterflies in the front yard.
SLIDESHOW: Butterflies in the front yard. A prose poem I wrote years before the tree was cut down. How the tree currently looks.