I'm not really sure when my love for plants blossomed. While I was a child/teen we mostly lived in apartments, we didn't keep plants around, and we moved almost yearly. In my early adult days I didn't have plants due to life on a low budget (and southern California rent). Finally, once I knew I could budget for plants, and actually plant them somewhere, the craze began. I went through a substantial learning curve and killed several of my plants, but it was through this learning that I became more fond of these voiceless pets. They were challenging me to pay attention, to listen, and to respond. I suppose you could say it's kind of like parenting; it requires adjusting, listening, responding, and nurturing. And as with multiple children, no single plant requires the same formula as another.
Plants teach forgiveness...
When Ester was born most of our plants were neglected for several months. We were getting ready to move after living in our rental for almost five years, we were also moving our business, and navigating life as new parents. One of our plants, an easy philodendron, was suffering. She was parched, getting leggy, and most of the leaves were yellow. Well, once we made the move, and I began to feel like myself a bit more, I saw our once flourishing leafy crawler, and considered throwing her away. Even water wasn't helping. Before making this drastic move I cut off all of her leggy stems to see if she would grow again...Well, you should see her now. She's full of life, a vibrant green, new growth popping up almost daily. Instead of gripping the neglect, abuse, and pain we face in life, and allowing it to keep us low, we can forgive. I don't think our plants have to "forgive" but they remind us to seek healing, to seek our Healer and receive redemption.
Isaiah 43:18-19 . Revelation 21:5
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.
Plants teach patience
I used to teach at a school in Oak Cliff, and one year for the Science Fair we ran a series of experiments on cacti and other succulents. One of the cacti came home with me, a tiny little columnar shaped cacti named "Spike". That was the spring of 2012, and we still have "Spike", and he has grown, not leaps and bounds, but he's growing and healthy, and still ominously spiky. Patience, slow growth, remaining content in our daily lives, it's the path to living in freedom.
" But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience."
Plants teach faith
Last year we planted three "sedum purple emperor" plants in our front garden, a beautiful perennial. When the winter frost arrived they turned brown and looked "dead". Little did I know, well I did know but wasn't so sure it was true, these beautiful sedum were preparing for their re-emergence in the spring. Today they are popping back up through the ground, and by the summer they'll be showing off their rich, dusty pink blossoms one again.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
Plants bring joy
Plants bring me closer to God. It's fascinating how detailed each plant is, and likewise how diverse they are from one another. One of them has the most interesting aerial roots that cause the growth to form a climbing circular entanglement of large bright green leaves. While one plant requires pruning, another prefers to stay wild and messy, thus producing more blossoms. Some flower in spurts, and others just blossom here and there, making each bloom extra special.
Plants, they're delightful, and unique, inspring wonder and joy.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
With a full heart I will say that I love plants, I notice the flora everywhere we go, even more than birds (and I love birds too). I love when plants flower and I love learning about their quirks and curiosities. I hope to inspire this passion in my children so that one day when they're grown, they may have beautiful, bustling gardens of flowering plants (if they so desire).