I know it may not seem so, but this plant and I are a lot alike. It has a special place in my heart. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend hates it. He hasn’t said it, but I see him looking at it with sideways glances and one time in a silly arguement, he told me to take my plant and get out (don’t worry, we’ve since made up). It isn’t exactly beautiful, roots exposed and all; yet, that’s exactly what I find so intruging about this plant. It sits on our coffee table, soaking in sunlight all day, every day.
This plant hasn’t always lived on our coffee table (shocking, I know), and it hasn’t always looked like this. It was actually a fraction of the size; and it was growing and thriving quite nicely outside of our apartment building with all of it’s plant family. I walked past these plants day after day, until one day, spontaneously (although now that I think about it, a psychologist would have a field day with this), I reached over the cinder block wall dividing the vegetation from the soiled side walks of Hollywood, and ripped this plant from the ground – roots and all. My boyfriend looked at me quizzically, clearly not understanding what I was doing – and I admit – I’m not sure I knew what I was doing at the time. The action was entirely without forethought and impulsive. All I knew was that I remembered hearing somewhere that if a plant is ripped up with it’s roots, it will continue to grow – sometimes without any soil at all – just water. This day seemed an appropriate time to test this. So, I brought that little plant up to our apartment, and I carefully washed the dirt from it’s tiny roots and filled a glass vase with water. I placed that plant right into that clear vase – all naked and exposed.
Fast forward two months and that plant is not only still alive, it’s growing – dare I say – LIKE A WEED! It looks different. It was shorter and more dense when I picked it; now it’s longer and more spread out. Almost as though, without familliar plants around to gauge it’s growth by, it’s growing taller. Every day, though I don’t know that I’m even always conscious of it, I look at that plant. A simple glance to see that it’s still there. And alive. And green. And those roots are still placed in enough water to prolong it’s life.
This plant tugs at my very innermost heart.
Almost one year ago, uprooted myself from a very comfortable life in Massachusetts, and moved to California. I left everything I knew – everything that was familliar and ventured into the complete unknown. I cried nearly the entire drive (yes, I drove across the country with only what would fit in my two door Honda); feeling completely exposed and out of my comfort zone. I’ve since started a life here. I don’t feel the same. I don’t think I look entirely the same. And instead of being rooted in dirt, I now feel rooted in water – if that makes sense.
Now that I think about it, I don’t think it was at all a coincidence that I felt the need to uproot that plant and watch it thrive somewhere else. It’s alarminly similar to what I did to myself. Perhaps that day, I needed a little reassurance that life could still thrive and grow despite a drastic change in location and familiarity.
Change is never, ever, ever easy. As humans, and (most of us) creatures of habit, we balk at change and usually go to whatever means necessary to avoid it. But what happens when you’re forced to adapt and change can be antirely miraculous and inspiring. It never hurts to have a constant reminder of life thriving despite change sitting on your coffee table for those days when you question leaving a steady job, an apartment the size of a house, and amazing family and friends that are only a 5 minute drive away.
What is your reminder?