There are two window boxes on the front of our house, and every year for the past four, I've struggled to grow flowers in each of them. I've never had a particularly green thumb anyway - but here's the trick with the boxes...one is in full sun, the other in full shade. I know, I know - by now, you'd think I would have figured out that I need to plant different flowers in each box, but I just can't force myself to do it. I love symmetry, and the thought of having two different types of flowers on either side of the front of our house just doesn't sit well.
I've tried impatients, I've tried vincas, I've tried petunias...nothing flourishes equally in both boxes. If the flowers in the shade are thriving, the flowers in the sun are scorched and withered. If the full sun box has blossom upon blossom, the shady box looks naked and pitiful. It doesn't matter how much water, Miracle Grow or attention I give the two boxes - one box is getting either too much or too little of the essential sunlight - and you just can't change that fact.
Comparing the two boxes reminds me of my transformation over the years with lupus. Today, it seems I've found a permanent spot in the window box of thriving flowers. I'm healthy, agile, and happier than ever. I'm getting all of the essentials to help me grow - plenty of rest, a healthy diet, a low level of stress, not too much sun - and I can tell when I miss a beat on any of the above. Thankfully, if I don't get in a good nap or try to fit in too many errands on any given day - I'm able to recover quickly, as long as I push the essentials for the next few days. It's just like my flowers when I, ahem, skip a day or two of watering. As long as I haven't been negligent for too many days...the flowers spring right back with a good soaking and tending to.
That's a far cry from where I used to be - wallowing miserably in the box of dying flowers. For years, I couldn't get myself healthy - constantly ignoring the essentials while telling myself that if I just pushed through the rough spots, I could make myself better. Life doesn't work that way, and nor do my window boxes. If a flower needs sun, it has to get sun, or else it won't live. If a lupus patient needs rest, but never gets it, she won't thrive.
So think long and hard about which window box you plan to be in today. I'm sure you'll choose to
be in full bloom!
(And thanks to Father de Rosa for the beautiful photo...taken from, I'm sure, a window box in Spain. Can you say "sol lleno o sombra parcial?")