What you forget is that plants themselves want to live as much as you want them to. More.
– Elizabeth Smart, Elizabeth’s Garden, 1989
Several years back, when I lived in San Francisco, I did a course for women by a woman whose sole objective was to teach us to step outside our comfort zones in terms of appearance and dress. It would seem a seminar focused on clothes and make-up is superficial, but when I began to understand the correlation between how I dressed and how I held myself as a human being, the experience was transformative.
Interestingly enough today I recall the experience not for the clothes I learned to wear or what it taught me about stepping out proud, rather it was the voice of one woman who stood up and spoke to her commitment to save the spider. Yes, you heard me right. I don’t like spiders either, but because of that one pronouncement, rather than step on the little bugger that happens upon my path at one point or another, I go to great lengths, well may be not great lengths, to allow it peaceful co-existence with my bloody fear of them! This means, for example, grabbing a piece of cardboard so the spider that happened to be in my shower could crawl on it and be taken outside. I have saved many spiders this way. It doesn’t mean that karma weighed kindly on my actions by eliminating the possibility of the occasional bite – they still happen – but I have come to appreciate that our ecosystem is quite diverse and if it isn’t hurting me, best to allow room in my experience for those living creatures that do their part.
I am a realist at the same time. There is only so much I feel capable of doing. As well, Mother Nature teaches strong lessons at times of things we cannot control. Still, where I can, I do.
My husband has brought home more than his share of strays, including those of the plant variety. He sees a root bound geranium or plant and can’t help himself but to bring it home to me.
I get overwhelmed by a lot of things in my life to which I must attend, but I am moved by my husband’s calling and my equally strong propensity to try and save the plant. I told him yesterday, considering the rate of opportunity presented me by the number of plants needing saving and which propagate around us, I will need to open a nursery. The more telling lesson, however, is the fact that even the most starved plant, strangled by its own rootedness, can rebound and find new life, if you give it a little tenderness, food and water. Like the spider, each seems to have a place in the scheme of things.