I can hardly believe it’s been a month since I posted here. There’s been so much going on, I couldn’t find the time necessary to organize my thoughts for writing. I’m not sure I have them organized even now, but at least I do have a little time. We’ve had grandchildren visiting for several days this past week. What a joy! They are getting old enough to really interact with. Their personalities and interests are so diverse! We are in love with each of the five! Each time they come we find they’ve changed in some small and not-so-small ways. What a privilege to watch them grow!
Tonight I’d read again in a newspaper column by Rev. Walter Albritton about the legend of the Chinese Bamboo. I went to Wikipedia and pulled some information about it. Here’s a recap of the legend and lessons on the Chinese Bamboo Tree:
The Miracle of the Chinese Bamboo Tree
Zig Ziglar tells the incredible, but true, story of the Chinese bamboo tree. The process goes like this: You take a little seed, plant it, water it, and fertilize it for a whole year, and nothing happens. The second year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens. The third year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens. How discouraging this becomes! The fifth year you continue to water and fertilize the seed and then—take note. Sometime during the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree sprouts and grows NINETY FEET IN SIX WEEKS! Life is much akin to the growing process of the Chinese bamboo tree. It is often discouraging. We seemingly do things right, and nothing happens. But for those who do things right and are not discouraged and are persistent things will happen. Finally we begin to receive the rewards.” Principal-centered leaders understand the metaphor of the bamboo tree. They know what it means to pay the price to prepare the ground, to plant the seed, and to fertilize and cultivate and water and weed, even when they can’t see immediate results, because they have faith that ultimately they will reap the fruits of the harvest.
Some species of bamboo rarely flower, some of them only every 28-120 years . Some of these species are monocarpic, the plant dying after the seed matures. Furthermore, all the individuals of the species will flower at the same time in a large geographical region. This is thought to have developed because it reduces the effect of predators of the seed, who would be unable to depend on a predictable food supply.
Established bamboo will send up shoots that generally grow to their full height in a single season, making it the fastest growing woody plant. Several subtropical bamboo species can grow 30 cm (1 foot) per day, with some species having been documented as growing over 100 cm in one day. For the species most widely cultivated in gardens, 3-5 cm, per day is more typical. A newly transplanted bamboo plant can take 1-2 years before it sends up new shoots (culms) and will have many seasons of “sizing up” before new shoots achieve the maximum potential height for that species.
Bamboo’s long life makes it a Chinese symbol of long life, while in India it is a symbol of friendship. Its rare blossoming has led to the flowers’ being regarded as a sign of impending famine. This is said by some to be because rats feed upon the profusion of flowers, then multiply greatly and destroy a large part of the local food supply. The most recent flowering began in May, 2006. Bamboo is said to bloom in this manner only about every 50 years. Several Asian cultures, including that of the Andaman Islands, believe that humanity emerged from a bamboo stem. In the Philippine creation myth, legend tells that the first man and the first woman were split open from a bamboo stem that emerged on an island created after the battle of the elemental forces(Sky and Ocean). In Malaysian legends a similar story includes a man who dreams of a beautiful woman while sleeping under a bamboo plant; he wakes up and breaks the bamboo stem, discovering the woman inside. In Japan, a bamboo forest sometimes surrounds a Shinto shrine as part of a sacred barrier against evils.