I love bee balm.
I love its colours, whether a deep fuschia or a light lavender.
I love its spiky flowers.
I love its name – bee balm. That’s B-A-L-M. Something soothing for the bees in a world that is trying to bomb the heck out of them with pesticides.
But I cannot get bee balm to survive on my property. I have probably spent a hundred dollars on bee balm plants over the last five years, and so far, not one has returned the following year.
I love its colours, whether a deep purple or a light lavender.I love the wide flowers. I love the feathery seed puffs leftover when the leaves fall off.
I love its name – clematis. It’s symbolic meaning is ingenuity and cleverness because of its climbing prowess.
I have several thriving clematic plants. They love growing on my property. So…I bought another clematis plant. I am planting what will grow.
I also bought another bee balm this spring, and planted it in a new spot, a tried-and-true spot of good soil and lots of sunshine.
Why? Why would I plant something that will not grow?
Because if the clematis represents love and joy, the bee balm is HOPE. Never giving up, persistence. The hope that if I try something different, if I don’t give up, if I just move it somewhere else, this time it will work, this attempt will be successful.
I planted another bee balm despite the irrefutable fact it doesn't want to live in my gardens. So this is the last time, the very last time I’m planting bee balm. One final attempt because I don’t like to give up until I’ve exhausted all attempts.
This, actually, is a metaphor for the way I live my life. More enthusiasm than skill. Persistence. An indefatigable amount of stubborn keep-at-it-ness.
I simply don’t give up. Sometimes that a good thing -- my persistence is my sign of faith in myself. On the other hand, I seriously don't give up soon enough, whether it's a perennial, a manuscript, or a relationship.
We all have that one trait we’d like to see less of -- I also have a bad habit of putting off doing something until it makes it more complicated, such as booking accommodations for a road trip -- but we learn to accept that quirk, live with it, work around it.
Mine is persistence. A good thing and a bad thing.
Much in my life is clematis. Some of it is bee balm.
Yet without my help, or even my attention, my creative life is becoming rudbeckia and phlox, two plants which are self-propagating all over the gardens!
Clematis for beauty and cleverness, rudbeckia for encouragement, and phlox which, AMAZINGLY, represents good partnership, harmony, and sweet dreams.
Plant what will grow.