We have a little green corner in our house. A row of plants lined by our kitchen window. Plants that were given either as gifts or were inherited when friends moved out of town. Each of them has a story to tell – a story of a significant milestone, a special person or a fond memory. So as I water these plants every alternate day, it’s more than plants that I nurture.
Take for instance our very first plant, the money plant, which came to us as a small sapling. This plant has seen us move three houses, raise two kids and has been part of many a heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. We bought this plant around the time that the first child in our friend’s circle was born. In some ways, this plant is a harbinger of an era of growing families.
The hibiscus plant that parades indoors and outdoors with the change in season hardly ever blooms, but it has withstood the test of time and the realities of New England weather. Da and Hari gifted this plant to me for the first Mother’s Day after we moved into our new home.
We have another set of four or five indoor plants that were given as gifts from my workplace when Ram was born. Needless to say, all these plants come with their share of sentimental values.
There is a curry leaves plant that is taking the brightest spot in the window ledge. It was given as a token of appreciation by a neighbor. I cherish it for the thoughtfulness behind the gesture. I had mentioned to my neighbor about my desire to pluck curry leaves from my own garden to garnish the rasam simmering on the stove. And she had remembered!
We also have a set of other plants given to us from a friend who is known to care for her plants like her own children, and in fact thought of driving from east coast to west coast just so she can take her plants along with them as they moved houses. Since that was not exactly practical, she entrusted some of them in our hands. Between her and us, a couple of them have lasted for close to fifteen years.
What prompted this post out of the blue? In our collection of plants, we have a jasmine that withered away when we went away on vacation during the winter break. We watered and watered for days together until one fine day, we spotted itsy bitsy tiny leaves sprouting from what seemed like a dead plant. Within days, it started flowering and gave us a bounty!
There is something very profound about seeing plants spring back to life. Something that’s reassuring and predictable about the changing seasons and cycle of life. Gives hope. Gives meaning. Paves way for acceptance. Tells us that, this too – the good, bad, and the ugly – shall pass!
I leave you with a picture of a little jasmine flower that bloomed from the said plant that little Ram offered with his tender hands to our collection of Ganeshas and happily said “Thank you for everything ommachi”