Thursday, August 18, 2011

Late bloomers

At some point the life of nearly everyone reaches a peak. That high point may not involve financial success. Rather it may relate to contentment with certain events -- marriage, family, or professional achievement. But eventually such a summit is reached, whether or not the person recognizes it.

During high school, I observed fellow students who appeared already to have it all -- beauty, popularity, social expertise or athletic prowess. They seemed sophisticated beyond their years.

What I failed to understand at the time was that many of these high school students had already reached their individual peaks -- at the age of 17! Having become as athletic, popular or attractive as was possible, there was nowhere to go but downhill.

If you knew anyone in high school who also fits this description, chances are you have observed a similar pattern of decline. The speed with which these superstars fell from their attained peaks likely varied. But I have found few exceptions to this pattern. The sooner these exotic flowers bloomed, the sooner they withered.

For those of us who eventually found our own way, we came to realize that not all flowers bloom at the same time. The more fortunate among us were the most magnificent species of flower - the late bloomer.

Maturity is a great time in which to bloom. Much of the humdrum of life has been confronted and conquered. We have dealt with our share of trials and tribulations and have gained a great deal of self confidence. We possess mature judgment, are slow to lose our tempers and have developed an appreciation for doing the right thing at the right time. We can laugh at our own foibles and don't take ourselves too seriously. We have learned not to sweat the small stuff.

The best part of being a "late" bloomer is that we have spent more time in the sunlight and absorbing nutrients from the soil. So our blooms can endure longer.

It's time to enjoy the warmth of the sun. Many of the early bloomers have faded until they are nothing but a distant memory. It may have taken us late bloomers a bit longer to reach our glory. But we are here now. So we must learn to relax and enjoy each day.

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