Opening Flowers With Hammers

Mark J. Janssen
4 min readJan 11, 2024

It’s been said that you can’t open flowers with a hammer.

The agave plant, better known as the century plant from the Southwestern USA, Mexico and Central America stays dormant for years at a time. It will suddenly undergo a growth spurt sending up a stalk as tall as forty feet. The stalk might flower. It might not. Whether or not it flowers, those blossoms do not grow seeds that will become new plants. The agave quietly, unseen and unknown, sends off underground shoots. In that way it’s not very different from popular plants such as hens and chicks or bulbs like tulips and irises. The hens send out a sucker that grows into chicks. Tulips and irises grow a second bulb out of the original. The bulb must be dug up, split and replanted for the two bulbs to flourish and grow new plants.

Plants are not hammered into blossoming and growing. They are given tender loving care.

Many plants survive regardless of the weather conditions. One of the most remarkable things about living in the desert is observing the result of snow and rain on the cacti. The varieties of plants lie long dormant. They may appear dead for a year or more. When the rains come they open up. They even flower. It’s a sight that astonishes no matter how many times one sees it.

Flowers open without human intervention. Given love and protection, they flourish.

Human souls open and flourish when given love and protection. Our spiritual flowering depends upon many factors.

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Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is a spiritual warrior, mystic and author. His writes a weekly blog. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” is available online and in bookstores.