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The Enduring Bird-of-Paradise

      Over forty years ago, about 1976, I gave my mother a small bird-of-paradise plant as a gift, because she admired the beautiful bird-of-paradise flowers. The plant was very small, in a plant pot, perhaps 3 inches in diameter.
      When my parents moved to the Mid-West in 1980, my mother gave the plant back to me. The bird-of-paradise continued to grow, even when the room, in which it lived, lost electrical power and heat, in the winter, while we were away. All the other plants froze and died, but somehow, this bird-of-paradise survived, despite being a tropical plant.
Here is the bird-of-paradise at 6 years old, in 1982:

      The plant moved with us to an upstairs apartment and when my sons were teen-agers, they often repotted the plant into bigger and bigger pots, just to see how big it would grow! Indeed, it grew into a very large plant, in a plant pot, much too big for me to handle (2-feet in diameter). My sons would carry the plant down the flight of stairs, to
place it on the porch for the summer, where it could enjoy more sunlight. After that, we were pleasantly amazed that the bird-of-paradise subsequently bloomed for the first time, the next winter. The plant was about 20 years old when it produced its first bloom.
      The plant moved with us again, and the children grew up and started their own homes. My sons split the bird-of-paradise into two plants and the sister plant made a home in one sons’ home, where it produces lovely flowers every year.
Here is the sister plant at my son's home:

      Unfortunately, the pot, in which my bird-of-paradise sat, developed a very large crack. This necessitated repotting, not an easy job with such a large plant. We found a new, sleek-looking, tapered pot, that fit into a set of rollers, so I could more easily move the plant inside and outside. The plant did not adjust well to the new pot, with the narrower bottom, which squeezed its roots together. It lost some leaves and was looking a little bedraggled and beaten.
      But this winter, it brought forth the most vivid, beautiful flowers, that we had yet seen.
      How it is with us, as we endure the hardships and difficulties of this world. We must endure through the travail, heart-aches and hardships, trusting in Our Heavenly Father, as He can bring forth the most gorgeous flowers in us.