Winged Leopard Orchid

Such a way to end my recent 14 days in self-isolation. Stood by my kitchen window washing the dishes with a majestic winged leopard flying at me through the centre of its pink spaceship.

Or…was I in fact seeing a neon dumbo eared butterfly previously unseen in these parts of Cornwall? Or had my orchid somehow magically become everything at once?

As the sun fell behind it, spotlighting the veins of its beauty, I became mesmerised by the powerful presence and journey of this extraordinary plant.

That orchid that someone had bought me as a housewarming gift over a year ago. That orchid that back then had lost its buds far too quickly and became reduced to a bare stalk ever since. An orchid I was admittedly tempted to throw out to hide the evidence of my apparent failure to keep that poor plant doing what I imagined orchids were supposed to do.

Yet…look at what that bare stem has created. Look at what lay dormant when everything appeared so stark on the outside. For so very long. Look at what’s emerged at the end of it all. A deep darkness that has brought such growth and light. How could I not look at this wonder.

That sole stalk has blasted its way through with multiple buds waiting to bloom in order – as if standing in line on an airplane about to jump and release the glory of those flamboyant pink parachutes in a display of the most heavenly proportions.

Just when I was beginning to imagine and dread entering the world of further potential necessary lockdowns this winter, this once sole stalk now appears to me transformed – like a giant genie trying to say…look at this. Remember this. All waiting to happen. All in good time.

And, as my hands warmed themselves in the dishwater suds of my sink, I noticed they’d then fired up tiny little rainbow soap bubbles as if to gleefully reply “yes”…yes, that funky pink leopard orchid butterfly genie is indeed very wise – and no doubt very right ?

By Debbie Geraghty

Hailing from Scotland and now living in Cornwall, UK. A window gazing lover of river and clouds. A visual storyteller and wondering wanderer who tries to live deeply - but lightly.

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