Do You Know What Quiescent Means?

It means “tranquil repose.”

I find the word this morning when trying to determine if it’s true that my daughter’s silky dogwood has grown this winter.

Can trees and shrubs grow in winter?  We stand on the back porch in our rain boots.  Huddled together in the pouring rain, under a huge blue and white umbrella, we examine the silky dogwood.  The snow has melted (finally), and my daughter races outside to check the growth of that tiny little wisp of a sapling she planted two years ago.

We haven’t even had breakfast yet.  Even my coffee can wait; I’ve learned this year to follow a child where she wants to lead you.  

We peer over the deck.  It grew!  It grew into a whole bush.  I can’t believe it.  I thought everything went dormant in winter.  I imagine trees and shrubs in suspended animation.  

Apparently, even in the winter, trees can grow.  Dormant isn’t the same thing as quiescent.  In winter, roots experience “winter quiescence.”  They are resting but ready.  As soon as roots encounter nutrients, water, and even a slight elevation in temperatures, they spring into action. 

The dogwood was resting but ready all season.  It took advantage of every warm day, every bit of moisture, and every nutrient. In tranquil repose, it waited and experienced growth as the days allowed. 

I like to think of living in tranquil repose. I’m resting but ready as soon as my environment offers nutrients for spiritual and emotional growth.  And I have to remember that the sapling wasn’t dormant–growth happened–it only looked like suspended animation on some days.

Living with flair means we embrace quiescent days.  We are resting but ready, and we are growing.  

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  1. Love all your posts, Heather, but this one especially speaks peace and hope to me this morning. Thank you!!! You are a blessing, dear friend.