A Lesson from the Iris

Recipe at Lime Green Kitchen

Spinach Meat Loaf. It’s easy, it’s delicious and if there are any leftovers, it makes a great meatloaf sandwich!

Every morning when I’m out with Speck, I feel that I need to give this little iris a pep talk!


It’s so close to opening into a beautiful purple iris, so close to achieving its goal in life . .  but yet it’s also so close to getting frozen and turning to mush, with the world never seeing what it could have been!


Do you think it will make it?  According to Accuweather, it has til about November 22nd to open up or . . freeze to death!

Went through the same thing with this plant last year.

Two lessons in life come to mind as I watch this iris.  First, there is a time and a season for all of us and for all things.  Whether we think about it or not, and I mostly do not, we all have limited days . . limited time to accomplish what we want to accomplish before our life is over.  Will we make sure our lives are positioned so that we can receive the sunshine and nurturing we need in order to live our lives to the fullest . . bloom where we’re planted we might say?  Or will we sit in a dark corner (not that this iris chose where it was to be planted), wish we had done more, wish we had tried more things in life, wish we’d gotten to more of those things on the bucket list?  When the end comes (that first hard freeze for this iris), the time has past in which we could have done the things we wanted to do or the things we were put here to accomplish.

The second lesson that comes to life as I watch this little iris is this – many times in our life, there are things we want to do but we limit ourselves because of the possibility of failure.  Write a quilt book, submit a magazine article, enter a quilt in a show, start a blog, try machine quilting.  If you never try, you never know what you can accomplish.  That little iris . . suppose it had access to Accuweather.  Suppose it looked at the forecast and got out its calendar and thought . . No way!  I cannot bloom before the first hard freeze so I will not even try.  No hope of ever being anything other than a green, twiggy non-blooming plan.  No beautiful bloom because it didn’t have the guts to try.  It was too afraid to fail.

In the end, it may make it.  It may turn into a beautiful purple iris.  It is by my front door so all who pass (the three cars and the mail man!) will see it and think . . What a beautiful late blooming purple iris! Or, it may not make it and no one but me (and now all of you) will even know that it tried and failed.  The one thing for sure is that had it not even tried to bloom, it would not have succeeded.

Can you see just a little bit of an analogy to your own life here?   I’ve said this before here.  When I submitted my first book proposal, in my mind, I figured there was no chance of it being accepted.  I didn’t tell Vince I’d done it.  I didn’t tell anyone.  That way, if it was rejected, I didn’t even have to tell him.  But, had I not submitted that book proposal . . well, let’s not talk about that.

Take a lesson from my little iris . . you never know what you might accomplish in life unless you try.  You may fail or come short of your goal but you definitely will never reach that goal if you do not try your best, sometimes going against all odds and naysayers.



  1. 3


    I need to find out who you submitted your proposal to. Was it straight to a Book company or Magazine? Houston is too far away for me to go, but I can dream…

  2. 4

    Marilyn says

    Great post Judy something we all should think about. Oh and today
    we will have spinach meatloaf, on my way to the store now.
    Thanks for all you do……you rock as the younger
    generation would say.

  3. 5

    Marla Southers says

    Wonderful analogy Judy! Hey, any chance you can did up Iris and put her in a pot and bring her in the house!! I feel so sorry for her!

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    Thanks for all the inspiration, I have been thinking of starting my own blog for some time now. will ask my Computer repair man/friend this week to set it up. we have such a lot in common although we live on different continents. Keep up the good work!

  5. 8

    Rebecca says

    Judy, would it help to cover the iris at night? We do actually get frost warnings in places in southern California, and there are recommendations to cover tender plants. But maybe that wouldn’t work for a “hard” freeze?

    Anyway…thoughtful post today. Thanks!

  6. 9

    Sandy says

    First thing I though of I would get the air dryer out a long cord and warm air to blow on that beautiful plant.

  7. 10

    Julianne says

    Thanks once again for the nice pep talk that I know you did not even know I needed but, It was as if you were speaking directly to me. Thanks.

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    ruth anne says

    I would love to know its name and buy one somewhere. That was the most motivating statement(s), you do rock!

  9. 12

    Sandra (Sandy Gail) says

    Lovely thoughts! I have iris that appear to be very similar to yours. Several bloomed this past week. The name of mine that is the same color as the one in your photo is Bountiful Harvest. It is one of the reblooming iris that blooms in the spring and then again in the fall. Reblooming iris can be found by googling the name and it should bring up several companies that sell them.

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    Terry says

    Wow! Judy that was so inspirational and exactly what I needed to hear this morning. Thanks for planting the seed. Terry