The Miracle of the Kalanchoe--A Metaphor For Life

As I was walking the gardens today, I realized that it was three years ago today that I returned home from the hospital after undergoing the surgery that changed my life (if you don't know about my story, you can take a brief detour by clicking here to read it).

After making that realization, I went to the sheltered edge of the pond under the pomegranate bush and found the kalanchoe that lives there in a pot ever since I brought it home with me from the hospital 3 years ago today. It was brought to me as a gift by the president of the women's organization in our church congregation--the Relief Society. She brought it to me shortly after I came out of surgery. The kalanchoe's bright red blossoms formed a round orb of color that had brightened my hospital room for those days of initial recovery.

The kalanchoe now has a permanent home in the garden. Even though it's supposed to be a houseplant grown in the nonfluctuating climate of the home or a greenhouse, I chose to keep it outside so our plant-munching cat Dee Dee wouldn't destroy it. The kalanchoe spent its first winter in the open-sided shed (that is now long gone). After the frosts of that winter I moved it out to a partially sunny location next to the pond-water's edge where the shade of the plum tree and pomegranate would protect it from the summer's intense sun.

When the next winter came, I didn't move the pot. It stayed there through the frosty coldness of December, January, and early February. The insulation of some overgrown grasses around it had protected it. It has survived all frosts since then.

I still don't know how a sensitive plant like that makes it through the cold winter months but it always does. And it always blooms when the warmth comes--even if it hasn't ever been quite as showy as the first day I saw it.

The kalanchoe, and its ability to weather the cold and the storms despite all evidence that this plant variety shouldn't be able to withstand them, is a miracle to me. It is a reminder to me that miracles, large and small, happen in our lives everyday. We are only privileged to witness those miracles if we open our eyes and hearts to see them.

The kalanchoe is like many women I know. They survive amazingly difficult and insurmountable trials in their lives despite all evidence that they should not. And those women continue to bloom again and again, often very privately. Even though the trials are bound to continue to come, they survive. And even though their blooms may be less glorious than in years past, they are blooming nonetheless. And that is the miracle.
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  1. A beautiful post that we can all associate with at some point in our lives.......
    I do love the story of the Kalanchoe......seems very significant to me.......
    Hope that you are keeping well......

  2. Cindy, I had not read the post on your path to wellness until today. It is very inspiring and I am so glad to hear you are healthy. That kalanchoe sounds like a wonderful reminder.

  3. What a poignant story of your strength through a difficult time in your life Cindy. I like that the Kalanchoe plant is a steadfast reminder of this for you. I've endured my own challenges over the years & somehow have found the strength to keeping trudging along.

  4. Beautifully said, Cindy! Thanks for reminding me (I needed it today) that I'm stronger than I think!

  5. Cindy, what an inspirational, miraculous story! Thanks for sharing that with us. I am so glad you are feeling so much better and living a healthier life!!

  6. Very lovely cute cousin! I just love the warmth and miracle of plants. I am so not good at taking care of my plants & am pleased that they are so resilient. How very happy they make a place.

  7. This is such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing this bit of wisdom. I frequently feel like this little plant, but there will be no killing frost in my life! Only the regrowth each spring!
    Love you so much
    YLA (Your Loving Auntie)

  8. Wonderfully written, and so inspiring. My new friend, I am so glad that you are all healed, and well. I am looking forward to decades of blogging together.


  9. That was a beautiful post, Cindy, and very true.

  10. I took the little detour today and visited your other post. I am so glad you were able to change your life! What an amazing story.

  11. What an inspiring post. I am going to share it with someone very close to me another inspiring 'young lady':) about your age. My younger sister who wants/needs the surgery.
    See you are inspiring many as they read your blogs.
    I loved the wonderful analogy.

  12. Yes..I would have to say that plant is a Survivor....very inspiring...and much like people in certain situations.
    Wonderful post Cindy!

  13. beautiful plant. It's lovely that you have a constant reminder of just how well you are continuing to get. I like that the plant is indestructable- so very apt. Well done for getting the help you needed. How awful that it wasn't picked up for so long.

  14. I LOVED reading this post. I too know many women who have weathered the elements and who are still blooming. What a great metaphor. Thanks so much for this.

  15. I LOVED reading this post. I too know many women who have weathered the elements and who are still blooming. What a great metaphor. Thanks so much for this.


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