Hibiscus is my absolute favorite flower. They always remind me of home - and that makes me happy. Even though I grew up with hibiscus all around, I didn’t really appreciate them until I moved north for a few years. My Mom (understanding my need for things tropical and warm) air grafted a bush for me from a frilly variety in her yard. After a January winter visit I carefully placed the treasured plant in my car for the two day trip back home. Carrying it into the hotel on my overnight stay, the poor plant had already traveled 12 hours and gone from 80 degrees to 12. I managed to keep it alive indoors in my cold environment for a couple of years and through two moves. It would put out a couple of blooms now and then and I would shriek with joy about how my beloved plant was thriving, but in reality, the bush needed tropical weather to be happy. Ironically, it finally gave up the ghost right before my last move where it could actually thrive. I think there’s a lesson there about persistence and giving up too soon. But that’s another post for another day.
Over the years many things have changed in my Mom’s yard, but she still has the most beautiful pink hibiscus bushes I’ve ever seen. They’ve grown quite large and in the prime flowering winter season they become a riotous display of pink blossoms.
Hibiscus come in many different colors and varieties. When my husband and I moved to South Florida, our yard had not one single hibiscus - and it was so sad to me. It didn’t take long before one red bush, two yellow bushes and one bush with red-centered yellow flowers graced the landscaping. When I find just the right color pink one, it will join the others to spread even more happiness in our yard.
So what do hibiscus teach me about happiness? After closing up at night, the flowers reach up toward the morning sun to open fully like a smile that comes from deep within our being - the kind that just has to be expressed. During the blooming season, there are so many blooms that the bushes are overflowing. And so it is with smiles and happiness. When we share smiles and happiness with others, they becomes abundant and overflowing. And what’s not to like about that? I like to think too, that the many colors and varieties of hibiscus remind us that that there are infinite pathways for happiness. Happiness comes from many things in life. It comes from everyday joys and the sum total of our lives. More often it’s the little things that we overlook in our hectic pace of life.
So what brings happiness to your life? Is it something big? Or everyday small things?