Day 6 March SOL Challenge
In August my youngest daughter went to college and bought a plant for her dorm room. She opted for a succulent and it looked something like this:
When she brought it home at Christmas, it was a shadow of its former self. She set it down in the kitchen. Several leaves tumbled off, landing damply on the table.
“I don’t think we get enough light in our room,” she said, eyeing the plant.
“I don’t know, Lydia. It looks like it’s rotting to me.”
Over break the plant remained in the kitchen. Day by day the leaves released their tenuous hold and dropped onto the table. If someone brushed it, multiple leaves plopped off and sometimes you could just walk by and a leaf would softly tumble down. The remaining leaves looked bruised and slightly wrinkled.
After a bit of research, we decided it had been overwatered. We set it on the living room table in front of the window, and bit by bit, most of the few remaining leaves fell off. The naked stem looked plucked and diseased. There was still a smaller plant at the base of the main plant. Perhaps it might survive?
Lydia left for school, abandoning her plant. We didn’t water it. We didn’t really look at it. If anything, we politely averted our eyes as we walked by it, like trying not to stare at a scar or missing limb. The plant sat there day after day. A silent reproach.
Last night I was immersed in work, overwhelmed by the hopeless task of getting it all done. I glanced up from my computer and something caught my eye. What was that? There, at the end of that mottled, leprous-looking stem was a delicate new set of leaves, a miniature plant, dangling like a dewdrop. I pushed my work to the side and looked closer, examining the plant from top to bottom. The stem seemed harder now–still unsightly, but not so damp and pulpy. In the soil at the base of the plant, delicate threadlike ruby roots and new growth emerged from fallen bruised leaves. Look what had happened when I wasn’t looking!
I’d given this plant up as a lost cause but it surprised me with its tenacity. I’m sure there’s a message in this somewhere. Seemingly impossible things can happen? Never give up? Spring will come? Don’t overwater your succulent? Regardless of the message, my spirits lifted and I returned to work, smiling and feeling more hopeful. Maybe I can actually get my work done.