the vanda


A few weeks ago, I posted about Mimi’s orchid, the one I chose from her greenhouse after she died. I had almost given up hope that it would ever bloom in our house, but five years since its last flowering, here it is, Mimi’s Vanda Rothschildiana:

Whenever Mimi’s orchids bloomed, she gave me credit, insisted that the blast of fuchsia or yellow or deep purple was all my doing. I always smiled at her insistence, even when I knew I couldn’t take credit for her orchids’ glory. All I had done was wait.

If Mimi could see this Vanda, her Vanda, she would give me a big hug and tell me I was a genius. My first instinct would be to shake my head and tell her I had done nothing. But that wouldn’t be true. I have cleaned and watered this plant, cared for it in her absence. And I have waited. I have been patient. Maybe this is worth more than I realized. Maybe this is what she had been congratulating me for all those years ago. Oh Mimi, I do miss you.


  1. It is a beautiful plant. Lucky you!

    I think we have talked about how patience is necessary in writing, certainly it’s necessary in mine. I’ve waited nearly 6 years to finish this manuscript, and friday, i finally wrote the last scene after alternately agonizing and just giving it the time and space it needed to ‘write itself.’

    onto draft two.

    your vanda is gloriously celbrating your mimi, in it’s own time.

  2. Wow. That’s impressive. And your patience is impressive, too!

  3. Hi, Kate. This blog made me cry. In my mind, patience and love go hand in hand (and love gets my every time!). Lucky Mimi, to have had you. Lucky vanda, to have you now.

  4. That is an amazing plant!!!!

  5. Beautiful, beautiful–though this is only one of your countless beautiful contributions to the world, Kate…your writing, your teaching, your marriage, your children, your friendships…a list that goes on and on. I hate waiting so much. But the good stuff is always on the other side of a wait, isn’t it? Argh!

  6. Thanks, friends.

    Cath, congratulations on finishing that last scene! That is wonderful news!

    Bonnie, I do hope you’re right!

  7. Oh shit. What does this say about me throwing out so many orchid plants? Once again, you've inspired me. Pool? This week?

  8. Kara, never throw out an orchid! Pass it on to me. I'll wait for it to bloom!

  9. Pingback: new beginnings | Motherhood & Words

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