Tuesday, February 9, 2016


I planted succulent cuttings yesterday. I have no idea whether or not I did it right, but I'm all for trying new things for which I am totally unqualified. Besides, my word for the year is "flourish", and how can you flourish if you're not surrounded by green things?

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about plants...and growth...and this whole idea of flourishing, which really just means to thrive in growth. And here's what I'm noticing:

Plants really only need a few things: soil, light, fertilizer, and water. Also, luck, but that's beside the point. And I should mention that when I told the Man I was going to pick up some cuttings, he said, "So Littles can take care of them, right?" Which is on point, because we both know that I'm probably going to kill all the green things.

At any rate, I'm thinking about what a plant needs in order to flourish, and its strikingly similar to what we need as human beings. The metaphor hits you on the head. Or in the face. Maybe both if the metaphor is in any way related to Bruiser...who will also step on your toes.

Much like plants, we need to be rooted deep in earth. I think of this as community. Without healthy community, our roots hang out all over the place like raw nerve endings...or they never develop at all. Rootless plants don't put out many leaves. Ditto with human beings.

Also like plants, we need both literal and spiritual light. I love grey days more than most sane people, but the warm glow of sun on my skin brightens my spirit. I also need the light of Christ shining on me. This brings growth.

Somewhat unfortunately, we also need fertilizer. And yes, sometimes this stinks. But good news: rumor has it that used coffee grounds function well as a natural fertilizer. I'm going to roll with this. I'll drink the coffee, then share the grounds: everyone wins. 

Finally, we, like plants, need water to feed us. But while plants tend to thrive on fresh water, most humans need a healthy dose of salt. As Isak Dinesen says, "The cure for anything is salt water--sweat, tears, or the sea." So yes, work, hard work, is necessary for growth. Those plants didn't pot themselves. But work is not even close to the only factor. One of the lessons that I have learned over the last few months is that the outpouring of grief waters the soil around us, enabling growth, not just in ourselves but also in those around us. But if we hold it all in, refuse to let even one precious, salty drop spill out, we inhibit our own growth and possibly the growth of others. 

{Side note: I don't know that the sea necessarily promotes growth, but it does make me happy.}

This week, then, I am celebrating succulents, kind people who share of their gardens, black thumbs, black soil and community (even for this introvert), warm sunlight (natural and spiritual), fertilizer (but only the caffeinated kind), and water--especially the salty variety. May the plants--and all of us--flourish.

1 comment:

  1. Good luck, plants! They are looking good anyway. I hope that you and yours flourish this year. Looks like you're off to a good start. :)