Surviving Despite the Odds


Surprised April air shivered in Wednesday’s snowfall. There was only a skiff, but it ghosted the greening lawn and emerging plants. By mid-morning Thursday the sun reclaimed the sky and its warmth overpowered the snow.

I ventured out with camera in hand and found magenta and mauve-veined blossoms of Lenten Rose Helleborus weighted into submission but still gamely nodding. They’re usually hardy in zone six, but here they don’t perish despite Mother Nature’s zone four and five chilly whim. I’m not sure why.

Only in mild winters are their glossy green leaves meant to be evergreen, and yet our plants have remained evergreen every year whether the temperature dips to minus 20 degrees C. or remains above freezing. They prefer “an open or partially shaded locale”; here they are in deep shade against the house’s northeast foundation. Care instructions say they require “a nutritious soil that has decent drainage but is not overly dry”; here their roots reside in dry clay.

Still, they endure… much like the aspiring novelist who doesn’t follow all the rules or meet all the requirements, who gets battered by winds of change, and succeeds despite the odds.

Sometimes there is no explanation for success except that we have persisted. A small magnet on my refrigerator says, “Bloom where you are planted.” We bloom, and hope that someone cares enough to see and appreciate.

Do you sometimes feel you’re barely surviving in your writing efforts? What does it take to keep you rooted and blooming?


“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

[Ecclesiastes 3:1 – KJV]


* * Don’t forget to read and comment on yesterday’s post to be eligible for Sunday’s book draw. * *


Published by Carol

A freelance writer of fiction and non-fiction living on the West Coast of Canada.

10 thoughts on “Surviving Despite the Odds

  1. So lovely, Carol. Their beauty is uplifting, especially since I’m still looking out at a frozen lake and piles of dirty snow. Your photos make me believe spring really is in the air. Coming… coming…

  2. I’ve so many roots I too often feel “rootbound” in my writing efforts (am I telling you anything new? 🙂 But I’m going to try something in a RWR contest…even though it is an unfinished scene…or maybe not. . .whatever.
    And in the news today there was a story of a young boy who wandered off into So. Carolina woods and his Labrador (mix) stayed with him and kept him warm overnight. . .of course I immediately pictured Ty 🙂 –we gotta get a place where we can have dog(s) again!!!!
    The sun is shining YAY!

  3. I am so fortunate that I am rooted in the memories of where I came from, and who helped me get from there to here … as long as I have that … all of those I loved will never really pass … and all the love I have for what I do will flourish and grow strong.

    I love your photographs. Thanks for much for this lovely post 🙂

  4. I’ve heard it said many, many times that a successful writer is just a writer who didn’t quit.
    For me, the writing itself is the first reward. Of each project, I think: Even if this story goes nowhere, at least I’ve had the joy of writing it.

  5. I love Lenten Roses but have never planted them. Of course, this time of year I am always sorry for not putting forth the effort in the fall. Here in Wisconsin we sure can use a little color before our slow spring finally arrives. I read somewhere about the will to live and how even plants seem to have this “choice to survive and be happy”. God truly reveals himself everywhere. I will think of your smart flowers when it’s late at night and I’m struggling to find one sentence to write! Thank you–Judy

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