koko logo - a blue circle with the text 'koko - keep on keeping on'

Stand tall and bloom


It’s 1° here in Essex. It’s not one of those bright, crisp, sunny, wintery days where the sun shines, it’s dull, grey and looks like it’s going to chuck it down with rain.

As I write this we’re in the depths of winter, in fact, I’m writing this during that funny period of time between Christmas and New Year when nobody knows what day it is and you find yourself eating mince pies for breakfast.

It’s a strange, grey, dull time – nothing is open because of COVID-19 and we can’t see family or friends. And yet today something caught my eye which not just made me smile but filled me with a sense of hope. It was a single rose standing tall above a wall surrounded by bare branches. Now I know nothing about gardening but it got me thinking about beautiful things blooming even during the most difficult times.

Roses aren’t expected to bloom in winter and yet this rose hasn’t been killed off, it had potential, and surprisingly it bloomed.

And then I noticed a glove sitting on the wall and it made me realise that this beautiful rose wasn’t here by chance someone had lovingly tended it. Allow others who you value and trust to help you grow, and, like that gardener looked after the rose, look after yourself. Remember to always be kind and gentle with yourself, tending to your needs, not depriving yourself of good things. The gardener would have pruned and cut away the bad parts of the rose bush in order to give it the best chance to survive winter, and it didn’t just survive, it bloomed! Perhaps there are things that you need to remove from your life that you know aren’t helpful for your growth.

A couple of years ago I wrote this in my diary

‘You can blossom

You can grow

You have more potential than you know

You have more potential than you’ve been told

You don’t need to fit the mould that you’ve been told you need to fit.

All that you are embrace it, cherish it, live it.’

This rose reminds me that even in unexpected times you can still bring out the beauty and potential within you. Even if no one thinks you can, even in the dull times, EVEN in the middle of a pandemic do this surprising thing and blossom, develop, grow, and become more of the wonderful beautiful you that you are.




Back to all blog posts