Gratitude: How The Beautiful Orchid Taught Me A Valuable Lesson of Patience

Services for Real Estate Pros Retired

"The orchid is Mother Nature's Masterpiece."  Robyn

Research shows evidence of orchids dating back to the age of the dinosaurs, over hundreds of million years ago. Orchids are one of the largest and oldest families of plants in the world. For centuries, people worldwide have fallen in love with their Orchid Flowers. 

Many people don't know that orchid dormancy usually lasts six to nine months, with no guarantee that it may rebloom.

Although most agree that orchids are extremely delicate plants, they are often never met with the same patience and respect they deserve. 

If you've never had an orchid or have never seen someone care for an orchid throughout its dormancy, I can be the first to tell you how demanding they are.

Living in my hometown, Chiang Mai, located in the north, surrounded by mountains and lush green countryside and best known as the Orchid Capital of Thailand, my father became an orchid grower as he retired.

Here is someone that had dedicated the time, energy, and money to keeping something alive, so maybe, just maybe, he could experience it reblooming. 

I watched and learned how he had to wash, clean, trim the roots, prepare the peat moss, have suitable potting soil and fir bark, fertilize, and so on. With extraordinary patience, he kept trying despite difficulty and uncertainty. 

My father taught me how to care for orchids, but the beloved orchid spoke to my inner strength of my discovery of patience  patience is a virtue! 

Orchids taught me the immense feeling of triumph when that long shoot grows a bud, and that bud eventually blooms almost indescribable.

I learned that sometimes something not so simple as growing orchids could be compelling and motivating.

Orchids teach me that it's okay not to be perfect always; my willingness to learn, grow and adapt matters.

They remind me that I must prioritize patience and effort over unrealistic expectations to realize the highest potential.

We live in a society of instant gratification, and there's no "place" for patience in such a world. This, then, creates twin realities: two worlds living parallel to one another. 

Most people live firmly in instant gratification, but a few have come to understand the power and rewards that come from learning the fine art of patience

These goals are attainable, but they, of course, aren't realized instantaneously.

Learning is cumulative. Lessons build, one upon another. As understanding increases the complexity of the projects, we can also undertake expansions. 

"A first-time woodworker might struggle to make a pen from a kit, and a master turns a few scraps into a beautiful, functional piece of furniture."

I began to understand the importance and true meaning of patience. Patience is how I can change my world. The more patience I have and apply, the more significant the change I believe I can affect. 

I am grateful for one of the essential life lessons this beautiful and exotic being has taught me. 

This is my last gratitude post for the November Challenge hosted by Debe Maxwell, CRS. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

Photos By Shutterstock 


Posted by

I have wandered from a vibrant corner of the world, Thailand, to the bustling city of Boston. And again, to the tranquil beauty of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. 

I have found my place!

After a fulfilling career spanning 16 years in the corporate world and 22 years in real estate, I have entered a new chapter of life---retirement. As a proud grandmother, I cherish every moment with my precious family. In the remaining hours, I am ready to pursue my lifelong passion for writing!

I invite you to follow my new journey via my heart and soul into a book brimming with uplifting tales, ready to inspire anyone who seeks a glimpse of true inspiration.

Aura Alex


Comments (27)

Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Aura, for sharing your observations and your advice.

I need to work on my patience.

Nov 26, 2022 06:56 AM
Aura Alex

Roy Kelley, yes, indeed, patience is an ongoing practice and more practice. I am patient about some things, but other things, not so much. 

Enjoy your weekend, Roy.

Nov 26, 2022 08:29 AM
Gwen Fowler SC Lakes & Mountains 864-710-4518
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

The beauty of the Orchid makes the waiting worth it.

Nov 26, 2022 07:22 AM
Aura Alex

So true, Gwen Fowler-864-710-4518 SC * Mountain* Lake*Home.


Nov 26, 2022 08:30 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I love orchids. I buy at least one new orchid for each of my listings. They do teach us about patience and the beauty of nature. 

With listings taking longer to sell than what we have seen in the past several years, it makes placing a beautiful orchid in my listing all that more meaningful ... yet now less beautiful. 

Nov 26, 2022 10:19 AM
Aura Alex

Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist 

I used to leave an orchid plant for my listings too, and sellers took most after the sale. My favorite orchid is Yellow Cattleya (the main pic for this post) as my Thai name means "yellow orchid," so it has become my favorite color of all orchids. 

I love all orchids, though; they are fascinating to see in the wild. 

Nov 26, 2022 01:05 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

The orchid sure teaches me well and I will never think of the orchid in any other way but patient. Thank you for sharing your perspective Aura Alex 🙂

Nov 26, 2022 01:34 PM
Aura Alex

You're welcome, Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS

I remember you said you spent a lot of time in Hawaii. You probably know that Hawaii is considered "The Orchid Center of the World." 

We explored Hawaii's natural wonders and enjoyed seeing orchids in the wild at their best. The climate in northern Thailand, where orchids thrive, is very similar to the Hawaiian climate. 

Nov 26, 2022 06:43 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Another great post Aura!  I as well love orchids but didn't know that much about them, until right now.  A friend gave me a beautiful Orchid after my Mom passed over and I did all I could do to keep it alive and going in memory of her.  Alas it moved on.  Patience is a gift to be very grateful for.  I am far more patient now than in my 20's or 30's.  I was always at the same time back then to give things time, let them grow, don't give up! Determination comes to mind.


Now why do I want to buy an orchid!  Because of you my friend!  Thank you!

Nov 26, 2022 03:27 PM
Aura Alex

Hi, Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker.

Awww...someone told me I was a terrible salesperson as I couldn't get a 5-year-old interested in a lollipop!

If I could get you to buy an orchid from reading my post, I may consider a new career!! I will need your "glowing" testimonial, though.

Orchids Anyone? Ka-Ching! $$$$$$$  

These orchids will rebloom year after year if you take good care of them.

Nov 26, 2022 06:50 PM
Emily Medvec
eXp Realty LLC - Santa Fe, NM
Broker | Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Thank you for letting the orchid in you teach us another lesson. I was struck by your recognition of seeing an orchid as a being... so true. 

Nov 26, 2022 04:02 PM
Aura Alex

Hi, Emily Medvec: part of my learning how to care for orchids from my father was "talking" to the orchid plant. And he continued to "talk" to orchids before, during, and after their blooms. Amazing results!! 

Nov 26, 2022 06:55 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Aura, I had no idea about the history of the Orchids. Diane has received three orchids in the past eight years and neither lasted very long. We did not know how to take care of them. One might say we do not have a green thumb.  One thing is sure I have patience of a Saint. One of the key element you need if you are a land seller. Some of my lots take two to five years to sell. Now with that said loved your post, Endre

Nov 26, 2022 07:07 PM
Aura Alex

Endre Barath, Jr., I know you must have the patience of a Saint. Patience is a prerequisite for a land seller. And for anyone who loves to cook and experiment with new recipes.  

Next time Diane gets orchids, give me a jingle, and I will show you how to take care of orchids. I am an orchid whisperer! Only orchids, though; I don't have a "green thumb" for other plants. No talents for growing tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, or any eatables. 

Nov 26, 2022 07:55 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I love a good orchid and I love several of them even more than that. Love and light and all the best

Nov 26, 2022 11:54 PM
Aura Alex

Ditto! Thank you, Laura Cerrano 

Nov 27, 2022 08:42 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I definitely do not have that much patience nor do I have much of a green thumb at all, so I will just enjoy the beautiful orchids that others put in the work on, haha.

Nov 27, 2022 04:59 AM
Aura Alex

Hi, Brian England: I don't have a green thumb either; I love orchids so much I don't want them to die too quickly. Watching my dad take care of orchids made me appreciate his work and advice. 

Enjoy your Sunday. 

Nov 27, 2022 08:51 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Aura thank you for your kind offer, keep in mind we never bought the Orchids they were always gifts and oh well, next time she gets a gift I will reach out to you, Endre

Nov 27, 2022 10:09 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Good Monday morning, Aura.

Have a great day and an outstanding week.

Nov 28, 2022 06:55 AM
Aura Alex

Good Monday morning to you, too, Roy Kelley. I hope it's a productive week for you. 

Nov 28, 2022 07:56 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Good morning, Aura.
Another amazing lesson from Aura. You might consider putting all of your "What I Learned From" posts in a book. It would make a wonderful gift.  I know I would buy multiple copies. 

Thanks for another inspiring post, my friend!

Nov 28, 2022 08:05 AM
Aura Alex

Carol Williams 

We can co-author the book and combine our lessons learned. Or, you can be my "inspirationssssssssssssss"!!!!

I've got about a dozen stories so far! 

Nov 28, 2022 08:28 AM
Aura Alex

Let's talk more when we meet in Spring! Carol Williams. I definitely would like you to be part of this project. Two heads are better than one! We can help each other and I can't think of anyone else right now that could share this writing dream!!! OMG!!! What has just happened?


Nov 28, 2022 08:41 AM
Carol Williams

That would be a fun project, Aura Alex 
I don't write as eloquently as you, but I can usually get my point across. 😁

Nov 28, 2022 08:33 AM
Carol Williams

Aura Alex 
I will look forward to that meeting in the Spring!  ❤️

Nov 28, 2022 08:48 AM
Aura Alex

Shhhhh..! Carol Williams: it's at work. How did you know this? I may have mentioned writing a book but never said about what subject.

You, you, you amaze me with your sixth sense!!! The idea came to me when I first started writing about the "Food For Thought" series. And I have read most of "Chicken Soup for the ______ 's soul." 

OK, the cat is out of the box! I'm guilty! 😁

Nov 28, 2022 08:15 AM
Carol Williams

Aura Alex 
WhooHoo!  I want multiple copies of that book, autographed, of course!  ❤️

While thinking of your past writings and some of my own, I was just yesterday talking to my brother and sister-in-law about all the lessons nature has to teach us. 

Nov 28, 2022 08:24 AM
June Piper-Brandon
Coldwell Banker Realty - Columbia, MD
Creating Generational Wealth Through Homeownership

I was once given an orchid but no instructions on how to keep it alive and to make it bloom again.  Once the original blooms died off I kept it alive but it never bloomed again.

Nov 28, 2022 08:33 AM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Hi, June Piper-Brandon & Endre Barath, Jr.; as a starter, I recommend reading this article Orchid Care.

Some types of orchids (mixed colors) may never rebloom, according to the experts (my father was one). But most orchids we find in Orchid Nurseries (purple, white, yellow, and other solid colors), if you follow the guide on how to care for them, they will rebloom. But you won't know until you try. 

Start small if you buy one and experiment. Then you can enjoy the most exotic ones, which are worth the effort and care.

Here's the last orchid I cared for that lasted over a year! And still blooming. 


Nov 28, 2022 01:07 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Congratulations on this well deserved feature post!  Love your sentiments and agree 100% about instant gratification.  Planning and preparing for an outcome doubles the reward in my opinion!  I have a staging orchid and a silk one in a guest bathroom - that's as good as I'll get!  Love this post! 

Nov 28, 2022 06:53 PM
Aura Alex

Thank you, Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ for your thoughtful comment. I agree with you that bigger rewards come to those who plan and wait.

Nov 28, 2022 07:38 PM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I'm one of many who isn't patient enough however, after reading about your perspective and informative post, I'm hoping to strive for becoming more patient as I continue through my journey of life. Perhaps, I'll fill my rooms with orchids to remind me that patience is a virtue. 

Nov 28, 2022 11:08 PM
Aura Alex

Haha...orchid is not the only thing that symbolizes patience, Kimo Jarrett. You have a distinctive name and an interesting profession!

Thank you for being here and commenting. It's a pleasure to meet you. :)

Nov 29, 2022 05:43 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Aura Alex What a great example of patience . I have many orchids. I would like to have more but unfortunately, they only sell one variety here. I left some outdoors and they did well until there was a cold snap. Fortunately, I had 4 that I kept indoors. 

Nov 30, 2022 01:14 PM
Aura Alex

Hannah Williams 

Thank you for your read and comment. Orchids may thrive in cooler weather but probably not in the Philadelphia cold weather.

The indoor orchids should do well by the windows with morning sun.

Nov 30, 2022 03:58 PM
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216, - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi @Aura Alex. I love your statement about, "willingness to learn, grow and adapt". I truly understand what it means to be patient. That's a real virtue in my opinion. 

Nov 30, 2022 03:51 PM
Aura Alex

Jerry Newman

One cannot accomplish what you have without patience. I came from a family of law and military, and I understood at a very young age how patience was part of our heritage, Thai.

I am honored to have met you and thank you for the follow. 

Nov 30, 2022 04:02 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I shall have to share the dormancy part of an Orchid with my wife, as she believes they just die for no reason. She has to have patience for the way she tolerates some of my actions. A great grateful oost

Dec 01, 2022 05:33 AM
Aura Alex

Ed Silva: Haha... as the old saying goes - there's a patient woman behind every Great guy (I made part of this up!). 

It's a Free Speech, so I'd say whatever I want as long as I feel good about saying it LOL!

Dec 01, 2022 12:14 PM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I love orchids and I noticed that they were all over the place while we were in Thailand.  This was at the Temple of the Dawn (I am 95% certain 😉). 

                                           Orchids in Thailand

Dec 02, 2022 06:51 AM
Ray Henson

My aim is happy, Aura Alex.  I don't always make it, but I sure try. 

Dec 02, 2022 08:28 AM
Aura Alex

Hi, Ray Henson, you have unintentionally stirred my good memories of growing up in Thailand. 

I went back to your dropbox file and looked at those pictures again and again and they brought tears, happy tears, though! Geez, Ray, you sure know how to make a woman cry! 🙃 And smile too!

Dec 02, 2022 08:02 AM