I like plants. I always have. I enjoy the idea of growth and potential and nurturance and all the things that plants can represent for us. I’ve had plants in every home I’ve lived in; in every classroom I’ve taught in. I started a veggie garden with my most vulnerable students. I’d send those students off with propagated mint when they graduated so they could continue to see growth – in nature and in themselves.
The other day, a neighbour asked me just how many houseplants I might have and I really had no idea. So I took a quick count. 42. I have 42 houseplants and I love them all.
Recently, I’ve been noticing a leaf turning lighter and lighter and yesterday morning, I saw this brown and yellow leaf – clearly dying. I was upset. I was pretty sure I was killing it – that somehow I had neglected it or done the wrong thing – overwatered it or underwatered it or that our house just wasn’t the right place for it.
But as I inspected it more closely, I saw why the outer leaf was falling away. New growth. There’s a beautifully fragile new leaf growing up in this plant’s centre and all its precious resources are going into this growth. The outer leaf falling away is making room for the new. It’s a long-haul project, not short-term.
Growth can sometimes appear to be loss – and sometimes we do in fact lose something. But there is beauty in this process. And it’s not always something that you’ve done wrong or something you haven’t done at all. Sometimes growth is inevitable – in spite of you.
And sometimes we become of this growth simply by shifting our perspective, even just a touch.