Planting Hope

I’ve had a very peaceful week. Nothing earthshaking, dramatic or spectacular happened, no additional disasters have entered my life, and in spite of it all, there have been some defining moments which I consider life-changing. To put it simply, a gentle touch, mindfulness, and patience were the three key actors in my life this past week, and I have to say, ruthless teachers.

They came disguised as plants. Yes, you are reading it correctly, plants. For some reason, perhaps a delayed spring or a pre-empted summer, has sparked something in all my plants that has them growing, flowering and flourishing like never before. Bear with me as I walk you through this… Ordinarily I busy myself with propagating the pothos plants that are crawling all over my apartment, followed by the spider plants. They are simple and uncomplicated leafy children that grow quickly, don’t talk back or throw tantrums, provide much greenery and add to the jungle-like atmosphere I have worked on for the past four years. Add to that a few other odds and ends that I have nurtured over the years, this is the year where everything seems to be going according to plan – well, not quite. Let me re-phrase that, my green leafy children have excelled in their fundamental earthy lessons and have exceeded all expectations. So I took matters into my own hands and opted to begin propagating a few other plants that I have never attempted to do so in the past, like the Chinese money plant, fondly called the missionary plant (tut tut, nothing to do with positions) or the pancake plant. My goal was to just plant one or two of the shoots from the mother plant, but when I spoke my intentions to the universe, the mother plant offered me 11 shoots to harvest, and there are still more sprouting!

Two years ago I made the mistake of sowing pumpkin seeds without really knowing that I was getting into (ha! story of my life) and before I knew it I had gazillions of pumpkin crawlers conquering my floor space. I swore never to plant pumpkin seeds ever again unless I ended up in a farm or a house of my own where I can let the darn things go and grow wild. My ancestors would be proud of me this year, especially after managed to split a Boston fern into four without killing it!

The point of all this is that a gentle hand has led me towards abundance. I use coffee grounds and egg shells as fertiliser, and a DIY mixture of dishwashing soap, water and cooking oil to combat aphids on roses! The willingness to experiment after doing some research, and to go the extra mile to wait and see what the results will be have paid off. Some things simply need time to unfold, take root, and fall into place.

Translate plants into society and I offer you another example – I wrote my GP an email requesting a vaccination appointment. Side note by way of context: last month the GPs were empowered to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to speed up the vaccination process of the general population and relieve the pressure from the vaccination centres. There was no response from the email that I sent, or so I thought. The website said not to call or show up at the clinic unannounced, I interpreted the silence as a rejection. Lo and behold, ten days later, i.e. yesterday, I received a phone call from the clinic inviting me for the first shot on June 1. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and accepted the appointment immediately. I was siting in front of my pancake plant when I took the call, and I had to smile in gratitude and thank her for reminding me to be patient.

These past two months I strained my eyes and back furiously submitting job applications left, right and centre, and slogging it out with all the complicated online forms for some agencies. My plants have taught me that the groundwork has been done, now I just have to sit and wait. Easier said than done though, but I keep reminding myself that there is a reason for this gap, and there is a purpose in the wings.

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