Life can be found in the most unexpected places, and can throw up so many different experiences and feelings for which we may well be unprepared.
There is a plant, known variously as The Queen of the Desert and the Night Blooming Cereus, which blooms for one night only in the middle of the deserts of the Northern Hemisphere, mostly in Arizona, Texas and North Mexico. For most of the year it lies dormant, fading into the dry desert landscape, invisible to everyone except to those who know what to expect. Even those who do know will only take note of it as summer and midsummer approaches because, to be honest, it doesn't demand notice at any other time. Does this Queen care? No, because the point of her existence is to bloom for that one night, to allow her hidden beauty loose upon the world. The rest of the year she spends building on this beauty, which is always there. I like to think of it as a year spent rehearsing and getting ready for that one woman show which takes the world by storm and that, then, is enough to get her through the next 365 days. Along with this beauty she releases a wonderful, refreshing scent, her signature by which the natural world recognizes and applauds her.
For that night only, she is the centre of attention and she rules her environment. But, why does this happen and why just for that one night? I am sure that there is an evolutionary explanation but I like to think that she enjoys the build up and the night under the stars when she appears for her own enjoyment. If you think about it, who or what else will be around in the dead of night in a dry and arid desert?
Her story got me thinking about our appreciation of ourselves and our inherent strength and beauty which does not have to be on show all the time but rather is there for our own enjoyment and knowledge, and is not dependent on any one else's opinion. Perhaps the lesson for us is to enjoy who and what we are and, at least one night of the year, allow ourselves to dance under the stars.