New year’s lessons from The Princess Bride

Do you feel stalled in your development? As if you are going nowhere, fast? Not to worry: you’re not dead; you’re dormant.

Here we are, on the cusp of a new year, hip deep in winter. The landscape here in the midwest is bleak and windswept. No vegetation grows and the trees are shut down for the season. As cliche as it sounds, as I’m watching snow spit and swirl from the sky, spring (and its soft, green, spongy new grass) seems a million months away. It seems as though it will always be Winter.

Of course, this isn’t true.

Sometimes we go through dormancies in our lives, but they can be more difficult to detect: Fallow periods where our productivity seems to plummet. Quarters where we post no new sales. Writing, painting, composing or other artistic stretches of time where our creativity shrivels up.

Whenever I think that I am not being productive, or that nothing is happening or everything seems “bare” around me, I think of hydrangeas. If you’ve ever seen a dormant hydrangea, you know what I mean. It resembles a dried up bundle of sticks (and more than one gardener has mistakenly thought that the shrub in this state to be dead). Nope.

Not dead. Sleeping. Conserving energy. Nourishing its roots. Planning for spring.

Hydrangeas NEED the season of dormancy to bloom and flourish. A friend of mine, who lives in a very warm climate, once sighed in jealously, “I WISH I lived where you do so that I could grow hydrangeas in my garden.” This from a woman who has bird of paradise that cost $12 a stem at my co-op clogging the meridian strips on her roadways. Perspective, huh?

Without our harsh and brutally cold winters, the hydrangea would never achieve dormancy. Therefore, it literally cannot create flowers without adversity.

Unrelated to flowers, but related to dormancy is a scene from The Princess Bride that makes me laugh: It takes place in the hut of Miracle Max, who revives The Man in Black (Westley) from being mostly dead.

“‘Mostly’ dead is ‘slightly alive,'” explains Miracle Max.

When you are experiencing dormancy, you are slightly alive. To quote Max, “Whattya got that’s worth livin’ for?” Whip up a miracle, give it a chocolate coating and have fun storming the castle.

You have it within you to bloom!


Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them on facebook.



    • molly says

      Indeed. To everything there is a season, @RKyu and we can each “bloom.” Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and I wish for you a wonderful 2015. :)

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