Long after most cherry blossoms bloomed at Branch Brook Park and the spring celebrations at the park have ended, the Chrysanthemum Cherry, known in Japanese as the Kikuzakura, begins to bloom in late April to early May. This species of cherry blossom contains larger flowers than most cherry blossoms and has 100 petals per blossom. Since this blossom blooms later, few nature lovers will ever notice its beauty.
Like the late blooming cherry blossoms, some people reach their full potential later on in life and are called late bloomers. Georgia O’ Keeffe, who was known as the Mother of American Modernism, who was a renowned American artist, was a late bloomer, for she kept creating great works of art in her golden years. She was 37 when she began to paint those large flowers that helped to make her famous and still ignite debates among artists, art lovers and art historians today. O’ Keeffe drew her inspiration from nature itself. She gained acclaim for painting the landscapes in New Mexico that included the picturesque northern American desert. She loved New Mexico so much that she bought the Ghost Ranch house in New Mexico in 1940. She decided to live in the place that inspired her works.
It is hard to believe that O’ Keeffe, who decided that she wanted to become an artist at age 10, who took art lessons since she was 12 years old, who studied at prestigious art schools as an adult, decided that she no longer wanted to become an artist in the fall of 1908. Even though she put her dreams of being an artist on hold, she still had that passion in her heart.
After a fulfilling career as an art teacher, O’ Keeffe decided to dedicate herself solely to art and created many masterpieces that are not only revered in America but worldwide. On January 10, 1977, President Gerald R. Ford presented O’ Keeffe with the Presidential Medal of Freedom; it is the highest honor awarded to a U.S. citizen. Two years later, President Ronald Reagan gave her the National Medal of art. O’ Keeffe continued to paint till her death at the age of 98.
Nature teaches us to be patient and to wait for great things to happen in our lives. Just take a moment to look at the beauty of the late blooming cherry blossoms. No matter how old you are, it is never too late to make your dreams come true.