Of Orchids and Originality – Tea and Individuality


Orchids are the floral representation of choice, timing, and opportunity. Recently visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, I saw a colorfully diverse orchid display.

Whenever I see an orchid, it reminds me that each human being also has a series of choices, timing, and opportunities — a process — as unique, varied and intricate as any orchid type.

There are more than 20,000 orchid types currently. If orchids can share a general category yet be unique within it, then why do we humans seem to struggle with our own originality?

For anyone who thinks that growing orchids is a complicated task, then please realize that growing a life is more challenging. In the end, though, it’s worth it. It comes down to how we approach the task. Regardless of the process, the objective is to grow and to bloom.


We humans demonstrate our power via our choices. Indeed, being able to choose is what distinguishes human beings from animals. Like orchids, our choices determine how vibrant our lives will be.

We choose whether…

To live purposefully or to exist only.

To risk loving or to scoff cynically.

To pursue dreams relentlessly or to abandon dreaming altogether.


What distinguishes an expert gardener from a novice? Whether tending a tea garden or nurturing an orchid, the expert knows how to make current conditions, e.g. soil, water, and climate, work to his/her advantage.

In addition, there is confidence gained via experience that whatever the conditions, there will be a result. The task then becomes how to prepare for the harvest.

If what we are working towards occurs, then how prepared are we each to receive it? What will we each do then? The expert moves into action based upon the previously answered question.

(Note: Yes. I’ve been drinking some Anxi Se Zhong baked oolong tea today. So I’m writing with an oolong state of mind.)


Wherever there’s air, there’s opportunity. It’s that simple.

Air, composed of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and other gases, is not readily seen (unless it’s polluted). Although invisible, the main ingredients still remain so that living is possible.

In other words, opportunity is all around us.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Now… Let’s choose to make the most of what we’ve been given.

Whatever current conditions we currently face, let’s choose to work with them and to grow in the process.

Like original human orchids, we

  • Choose to grow
  • Recognize it’s time to bloom
  • Seize our opportunity

Cups up good tea people!


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