It’s so silly.
I have this plant, she sits by the windowsill in my bathroom. When she was bought she was a Mum, and her stalks stood stall and her purple flowers were in glorious bloom. She was bright, and happy, and it was summertime and warm. She was thriving.
As summer started to turn into Fall her flowers left, one by one, and eventually her tall green stalks stood empty. She was still there, still bright, just flowerless. Soon, one by one, the stalks that were so tall and bright began to wither, began to lose their strength and turn to brown. Tall, hardened, empty stalks.
It was at this point that I started to prune those dead stalks, I thought maybe if I got rid of that which was not serving her, that which was pulling needed energy from her heart, that I could save her. I wanted to save her.
So I pruned, bit by bit, and some days there was a torrent of dead stalks I would pull. A palm full of dead.
I watered her, and I thought, “this will help you dear one”, “this is what I’m told you’re to do when your stalks start dying off”.
And then one day, I come into the bathroom to find little, tiny new growths sprouting from her root. From her heart.
And I thought, “that’s it! That’s it sweet one. Keep going, you’re going to survive this.”
Each day those new green baby stalks kept growing, and multiplying, and it filled my own heart with so much hope, with a sense of, I was doing the right thing. I was able to save her.
She continues to grow, and those new stalks are now stems of their own accord, filling her center and spreading out, green and bright.
The remaining elder stalks are still there, what’s left of them. They stand, empty and brown, yet I’ve learned not to pull them all. To leave some, to trust what’s there because some of those stalks, though they appear to be dead and gone, are simply hibernating. Waiting patiently for the warm summer air, to fill up and bloom once more.
I realized that these stalks, these elder stalks, were more than just dead space; they were holding her together, giving a base, a foundation from which the new growth could appear and thrive.
And so everyday, I check on this sweet plant, sitting in the window of my bathroom. I check on her and water her and see what newness she brings that day.
I say it’s silly, because I feel so very strongly connected to her. That somehow, her own being her own life, represents my own.
That she had to bloom, and thrive, and then lose all of what she had, that all of what she was had to be torn away, in order for her to grow. To grow again, but from the inside, out.
The inside, out.
She shows me that it’s possible to begin again. That we can always come back, and perhaps even come back stronger, and a larger version of who we thought we were. That we are always growing, that sometimes when something appears dead and lifeless, that that too has its value. For that may be exactly what is holding us up, allowing us to grow stronger.
The inside, out.
Hope. And renewal. And strength. It’s all possible, but not without care, not without daily attention, and not without faith that survival is possible.
Just keep going. Keep believing. And keep doing the work.