Photo I took in October 2015 and which was printed in local paper on Friday.
Photo I took in October 2015 and which was printed in local paper on Friday.

Patience is not my strongest virtue and this is particularly true when it comes to gardening. In Spring I planted a passion flower in a pot and placed it on the sunny deck.

Full of hope and expectation I was soon checking the intermingled star-shaped leaves for buds, tucked away behind the foliage. No luck. During the warm summer days I sat swinging gently on the wooden swing seat and cast surreptitious glances at the Passion flower. No luck. I waited and waited before finally this Autumn giving up all hope of blooms.

Whilst washing up one morning last week I spied something most unusual dangling above the fence by the seat. Could it be? Surely not? I dashed out in the gentle rain – at last, one glorious passion flower. I’m sure I danced on the spot, then paused at various angles to examine this wonder of intricate design. Sheer perfection. Such colourful flamboyancy. 

Returning indoors my mind spun on this one lone flower. There was a lesson to be learnt here. Patience and perseverance. Words that I realised should be every writer’s keystone.

Patience in the task at hand. Patience to trust yourself, follow your path, your writing path. To believe that your goal will be achieved but perhaps not in the way or time frame your mind has set itself. 

Intrinsically linked to patience is perseverance. To continue with your project, not to lose hope and to believe with all your heart that perseverance will reap the rewards.

As so many are now entering this month’s NaNoWriMo I feel patience and  perseverance are required more than ever. May they give you strength and energy and don’t forget to have some fun along the way. I wish you all success with your endeavours. 

Although I am not officially entering NaNoWriMo I will take this opportunity of what I imagine will be a quieter month on WordPress to concentrate and finalise a couple of writing projects.  However, I’ll check in now and then on everyone;  a whole month away would give me withdrawal symptoms!

‘Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side your self. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more importantly it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.’ 

John O’Donohue

45 thoughts on “PATIENCE & PASSION

    1. How true! That is what I felt so with the Passion flower. I had set my own timetable for its flowering, but no. I had to learn that patience and wait for it to flower in its own time. Yes, many say write even if everything feels against it but for me that doesn’t work and during the years I am slightly, just a smidgen more patient and learnt not to force things against their will.

    1. Thank you so much Carol. These are one of my favourite flowers so I was chuffed to bits when it finally flowered. The quote is one that I feel many of us (including myself) should learn; to listen to our soul, follow its rhythm and not try to force a way forward against unknown forces.

    1. How did it go with your patience today? I seriously had given up on the passion flower as it grew and grew with a flurry of leaves but no flowers. I wouldn’t give up on yours at all. Is it in a sunny/semi-sunny location? They do recommend pruning but I don’t dare and am just leaving it! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend and I meant to say, Happy Belated Birthday!😀

      1. Impetuous is my middle name. Patience is somewhere down about 54th, Annika 🙂 We have a passion flower in the conservatory but we’ve tried growing them outside too. Perhaps we should move. 🙂

        1. Hello Jo Impetuous! I think moving is rather drastic! Your patience is quite impressive here I must say if you have tried so long and in different places to grow the Passion flower. Maybe admitting quiet defeat and moving to grow a different flower would be the answer. How many times haven’t I had to do that! I love African violets but successfully kill them all with my love and attention.

  1. A lovely post, Annika, and an amazing flower – so unusual. Nature is intensely beautiful and full of life lessons for us when we stop our rampant minds and take a moment to reflect. I noticed the O-Donohue quote at the end too – a great one. Happy writing and enjoy all the gifts of the season. ❤

    1. Thank you Diana and yes, a most unusual flower. We grew at our other house years ago and this year I got a hankering to see it in our garden again. More a quick dash out to view rather than the leisurely appreciation during a lunch in the sun which I’d envisaged! I thought the quote would make you smile – this book resides on my bedside table at the moment. The writing is going very well (so far – fingers crossed). Hope you are well after your trip and at peace with your writing admist all the travels. 😀Warmest wishes.

    1. Thank you Karen and the quote comes from my current favourite ‘inspirational’ book! I can highly recommend it. Wishing you a lovely day too. Hope you don’t have this nasty fog that has been over the UK and parts of Europe for days now.

        1. I’ve often dreamed of seeing your amazing Fall and it must be even more spectacular in the sunshine. Snow??!! Blimey, when will you get that? Here it is unusually mild with 15 degrees centigrade daytime.

    1. Lauren, thank you very much and it is an important message I feel and one oft forgotten in our impatient ‘now’ world! I’m as guilty as everyone else. The writing is going well so far…thank you.

  2. Peter R

    I was patiently waiting for a suitable reply to come, but…..oh, what the heck.

    “Patience is a virtue.
    Find it where you can.
    Seldom in a woman.
    Never in a man.”

    Sorry, I don’t know the author.

  3. I love how some people say so much in so few words. Good John O’Donohue quote. They often inspire me. This quote about patience-perseverence from John Adams is good: “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

    But this one from Winnie the Pooh is so much more palatable: “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” I’m always happy to take my wisdom from Pooh.

  4. Anonymous

    What a lovely blog – calm like the November weather (at present) but with a very pertinant message in this must have age.

    I can imagine you looked at the passion flower buds during October and had given up hope of seeing any flowers this year.Then “voila” – just when you least expect it, a single passion flower, as if to say Ha – you disbeliever!

    Patience is a greatly underestimated virtue.


    1. Thank you Mike for you lovely and considered comment. That was me indeed, checking the buds in October every day before giving up on them. I’m the same in the Spring, impatient for the early flowers to bloom. I like your last sentence and tied to modern day where we push for everything to happen now, good old fashioned patience should be restored to everyday life!

    1. Marie, there seem to quite a few of us intending to do the same thing this month, beavering away writing but not taking part of the official challenge. It just made sense to me. Good luck with your writing projects and enjoy! 😀

        1. How exciting!! 🎉Well done, I do understand the procrastination though. It takes guts to send your ‘baby’ out for feedback but such an important first step. How long will it be until you hear anything? As for me, started off working this morning and aiming for 2,000 words a day until first draft is complete. It’s slightly confused as I have written scenes with no linking chapters so need to sort that out too. Good fun and feel like I’m achieving something!

  5. Beautiful photo and an inspiring post! I’m not officially Nano-ing this year either. Plan to work on two writing projects at hand (beginning stages) and read, read , read… during November and December. Thanks for sharing–it’s great to know I’m not alone. 🙂

    1. Bette, I’m glad I am not alone!😀 I did look at Nano-ing but my plans didn’t seem to tick any of the boxes. What a lovely idea to read, read, read for the next two months as well. Sounds like bliss…may I join you?

      1. Please do! I need some R & R and looking forward to traveling through some great reads I’ve had on hold. Also, some writing (outlines/poems and a few blog posts, but mostly reading). Enjoy your days! Hugs…

  6. Mirja, thank you for your great comment. I did feel that this poor plant had persevered the whole Spring and Summer, through a cooling Autumn and finally such beautiful flowers (there have been more!) What a lesson for us all I thought as well as feeling rather guilty at giving up on it.

    Glad you liked the quote, the whole book could be included in a quote file as full of wisdoms. ❤️

    1. Mirja

      o.k. Annika, I will buy this book and probably love it.
      Saw on JC’s comment that it is called “Anum Carra”.
      The “poor” plant is probably smiling at you and saying “poor girl”,
      she has a lot to learn.:))

    1. Yes, Jill, I’ve been working on improving my patience level all my life – mostly to now avail! 😄 I did feel that the flower was giving me a bit of a kick, saying ha! given up on me did you! Patience, patience…

  7. One flower contains the meaning of everything… I think it was William Blake… “all the world in a grain of sand.”

    I love John O’Donohue, I have his book, ‘Anum Carra’. I am still saddened that he passed away. So young, just a beautiful person.


    1. JC, I do feel that this flower spoke to me that morning, it is such an intricate multi-layered design so did feel it contained ‘all the world’. I never was sure about ‘all the world in a grain of sand’ though.

      The quote is from that book which I recently bought and is having a quiet impact on my life. It’s already marked with underlinings and folded pages! I don’t know about the author’s life though so I’ll read up about that.

    1. Adrienne, I do hope everyone reading this did feel some of my positive encouragement, whether taking part in the writing a novel in a month or any other endeavour we all need a little extra boost at times. Lovely to read your comment. 😃

  8. Mirja

    Thank you for this ‘flamboyant’ flower lighting up 1st of November.
    “There was a lesson to be learnt here. Patience and perseverance. ”

    I love how much this flower told you, especially like “Patience to trust yourself,
    follow your path”. Perseverance in the task we undertake. Thought of this
    whilst continuing gardening and preparing for spring. Patience and perseverance.:)

    Wonderful quote too, I will save that in my quote file.

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