Possibilities and Potential

Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.
Pope John XXIII

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!”
― Søren Kierkegaard

Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.
Winston Churchill

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(a tulip tree bud ready to burst forth / Julie Cook / 2015)

Alarms sound
coffee brews
a sun rises
sleepy eyes open
showers taken
dogs walked
breakfast gulped
buses run
bells ring
traffic snarls
It’s Monday morning, again

A new day and a new week eagerly arrives
Last week is gone along with all that happened and took place,
be it good or bad.
This new morning, to this new week, offers all sorts of potential and possibility.
The sky’s the limit.
There are no “nos” yet shouted.
There have yet to be any disappointments
There are no failures
No quarrels
No wrongs
No crises
Only a clean slate just waiting for a fresh new mark
Greet the day with head held high. . .
For this is the day the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it
Psalm 118:24

It’s simply a matter of where you fall

“Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn! You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into an oak!”
― George Bernard Shaw

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(a lone black oak acorn / Julie Cook / 2014)

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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(a small cache of acorns / Julie Cook / 2014)

Consider the lowly acorn.
A tiny little nut wearing a tiny little cap.
Food to squirrels, chipmunks, mice and voles. . .

Think of the massive amount of energy and the tremendous potential for greatness which is neatly stuffed inside a tiny shell underneath a tiny little cap.

Yet this tiny little cap wearing nut is but a majestic oak tree in tiny disguise.
Despite the potential for staggering growth, which is locked inside the humble little acorn, should the acorn fall on anything other than fertile soil, all the potential and all the possibilities are but for naught as the little acorn is simply left to wither, perish and rot.

All of us come into this life, just like a little acorn. . .we come prewired full of massive potential and grand possibilities. . .
Yet, if there is no nourishment, no encouragement, no tending to, no nurturing, no fertile soil to feed the potential— we are left to wither and flounder. . .being lost to what could have been.

On this new morning of this new day to this new week, may we be mindful of the potential that hides within each of us. May we yearn to nurture and to feed the possibilities in not only ourselves but in the lives of those who are around us—for on this new morning of this new week comes to each of us a new time of growth full of endless possibilities and limitless potential for new growth . . .

May this be your day for the new potential and possibilities which is tucked deep inside waiting to be nurtured. . .

The possibility of what will be

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“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.”
Pope John XXIII

This is a picture taken of my little kumquat tree, now in full bloom. It is just now putting out some fresh blooms—hopefully meaning I may have more than the single kumquat from last season. I have two fruit trees, I keep in large planters as they are not hardy in our region during our winters, forcing me to have to roll them in and out of safety throughout the winter months as they do not tolerate freezing temps very well. They relish being outside in the late spring through early fall but once the threat of a hard freeze in eminent, I struggle getting the planters up on small dollies, keeping them on the dollies all winter, allowing me to push and pull them to the garage as needed.

One plant is the kumquat, pictured, the other is a most sad looking Meyer lemon tree. Two years ago, when I bought them from a local nursery, they each produced a good bit of fruit. I was so proud of my lemons– and the kumquats went towards a secret family recipe for a cranberry kumquat relish (the recipe actually calls for calamondins but those are not found anywhere near me, so I’ve substituted the kumquats as they are found in the grocery stores)—the relish is made and served all through the holidays much to my husband’s joy.

Last year, sadly, was a different story and I’m certain it has to do with the whole pollenating thing of having just the single tree plus the stress and strain of rolling around all winter. The lemon tree produced no lemons–each tiny new lemon would simply whiter, dying and falling off the tree. Then a late spring freeze did a number on its new growth. I’ve had to cut it back so that it resembles more of a stick poking out of a pot then a beautiful tree. The kumquat tree produced just 3 kumquats, forcing me to head to the grocery by the time the holiday season rolled around in order to buy enough for the recipe.

I do baby them as best I know how, cheering and rooting them on to bloom–hopefully giving way to their beautiful fruits. Each tree currently is blooming and keeping the bees busy. The Meyer lemon tree actually has several small lemons, about 10, but whether they will grow and flourish is yet to be seen—but I am always hopeful.

These small trees have a mighty potential… just like us– as we all have a mighty potential. Unfortunately we often get caught up in our failings rather than our successes. We focus more on the negatives more so than we do on our positives. My husband wonders why I continue bothering with the trees–this when I’ve forgotten to roll them to safety around the 10:00 PM news, when I just hear of the impending freeze, forcing me outside, usually donned in only pajamas..frantically pushing the trees to safety. How many times they’ve tipped over from the dollies, pots cracking, me scooping up tree and dirt, wrapping in duct tape until I can properly repair my damage……

But continue I do because I know what is possible… not only from the trees, but from myself as well. Not that I expect to be a master fruit tree producer, but because I know I can care for two trees which can in turn offer us something wonderfully rewarding. It’s just a matter of seeing the possibilities and believing I can get it right…eventually.

That’s why I like today’s quote so much—there are always hopes and dreams…there is always unfulfilled potential. There is never a reason to quit and give up, not as long as there is still energy and a will….I never give up hope—that’s not to say I’ve never been depressed or felt defeated…but as is usually the case, I regroup my strengths and energies–always giving it another go, another chance, another fight….pushing forward till I get it right…

Here is to unleashing the possibilities within us all…………

Not yet what we shall be

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“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”
― Martin Luther

This photograph is a picture of what some might call an immature or baby Hydrangea. Southerners are most familiar with these giant showy flower puffs that are found in so many southern yards. Seems everyone’s grandmother had/ has the prettiest color. Hydrangeas are funny that way. They are so dependent on the ph of the soil—be it too alkaline or not…that is pretty much the soul determining factor in the color of the blooms–be they pink or blue. There are white hydrangeas but they usually stay white— an owner may only tweak the color between the blue and the pink varieties by adding or subtracting aluminum to and/or form the soil.

I read this quote by Luther and loved it’s reference towards things growing–growing towards something, an unfinished process–things not being quite ready yet, the shine of glory that is yet to be—just like this hydrangea bloom—in a week or two, this bloom will be full, huge, and, in my yard, blue—a big showy giant blue ball, along with all of the other blooms around it. But today, it is simply young and immature, a long way off from its potential.

The hydrangea’s potential is just sitting there waiting– I know what the finished results should be and will be. Just like all of us–as we are not yet what we shall be, only God knows what our finished results shall be. Even at my age, sitting at a place where my career (at least career number 1) is behind me, my son, at almost 25, is basically all “grown” up…one would think that I have come to the majority of my potential—but that just is not so….and for that, I am glad. I am happy knowing, and even excited thinking, that there is much more to me–more for me to do, to accomplish, a better person I am to become….there is hope in that!

May we all remember this Monday morning that we are all in the midsts of a process that is unfinished as we are all growing towards our individual potential–waiting for the gleam of our individual glory that only The Creator, our Father, knows and that our small glory gives way to His greater Glory. All of this while living our day to day lives—being purified in our growth….slowly and surly.
Always having Hope, always remembering that, as long as we have a breath to breathe, we still have the potential to shine.