You may remember that a couple of weeks ago, I posted a picture of the new flowers blooming on my front porch. I was particularly taken by the gerbera daisies and their unique development. The leafy crown actually formed a deep cup, and way down at the bottom, the new flower buds appeared and developed. As the flowers began to open, they reached up to the top of the leaves, which formed a nice little supporting wreath of green around them.
I thought I snapped that picture at the peak of their development. But to my surprise, they continued to grow. The flowers remained fully open and lovely, but the stems stretched toward the light, until the flowers are now lifted high above the leaves. The stems are six to eight inches tall.
What a lesson for those of us who blossom and bloom -- and are then content to rest on our laurels (ahem, leaves?) It is, oh, so tempting to say, "OK, I've done it. I'm a full-blown flower. I've won the contest, published the book, taken the prize, earned the promotion. Now I can relax and enjoy my leisure, my fame, my fortune. But real life doesn't work that way. The real prize is not in reaching the goal but in striving for it.
Every morning my daisies remind me to keep stretching and growing.