I keep learning from the plant world. First it was the Parsley plant that defied all classifications of how we consider botanical life to exist, showing me that I am the one who places limitations on the Parsley, and that it does not have to stick to them. In the same vein, I am also the one who places limitations on my own life, which was shown to me with all my unfulfilled expectations of the death-defying Parsley plant. Then there was the little yellow flower at my entrance door that taught me what a violent creature I am, by eliciting reactions that demonstrated the underpinning of protectionism.
Now, let’s turn to plant number three and get the lesson of the day. This time we are doing math, you know basic math – or as we say the equality equation – 1+1= me, me, me … eh, I meant to say that I am striving to understand 1+1 = 2. I do slip sometimes, this is not easy, I am brainwashed, or better I am brain-programmed. Heavy duty, blinding, obstructing and obscuring programmes that run around in my head and do not let me see the obvious common sense.
However, common sense never fails. In my pre-programmed brain, what fails is the starting point, as with this little story that is to follow. In my flat, I have a plant with fusia pink flowers that are just the best eye-opener when I stumble into my bathroom in the mornings, after six hours of sleep. I might add here that that ever since Darryl’s “Ghee, get an alarm clock” kicked in to my backChat – I have been sitting up straight when the alarm on my mobile phone rings after six hours of sleep. It’s the same alarm clock I have been using all along but now with this added value of “get-it-together damn it” I seem to spring up one, two, three, and breathe myself into the bathroom.
Right, this is where we were, in my bathroom. So this plant, a Cyclamen, sits on the windows sill in my bathroom which is located right behind the toilet. This plant has been supportive of my process and the adjustments I have made to my sleep habits. It’s bright fusia colour has been the light at the end of the sleep tunnel. I have not figured out just yet if I do get an energetic experience from “looking forward to seeing my plant” after a short night, because frankly, in those early morning moments when I make my way to the bathroom, I am not even sure of my name. In other words, the coding procedure that disconnects me from my unconscious and subconscious when I wake up is still too prevalent for me to register an emotional state at that time.
Recently, this plant has not provided me with enough incentive to be able to check my emotional basis of engagement in those early morning hours. Sure, I can see this as support too, to let go of the fusia pink flowers, and learn to wake up without eye candy on the other side of my flat. From another perspective, it is a peculiar movement on behalf of the plant to have lost its, let’s say elan, to produce more lovely pink flowers. Here is what happened: The plant in its pot sits comfortably on a saucer which holds the plant’s water supply. Cyclamen plants are not agreeable to having poured water down their bulb, they like to draw their own, they are a bottom-up plant, so to speak. No problem, I have accommodated her for that. The saucer is filled up with water and the plant drinks it up at whatever pace it feels comfortable. This worked very well in the beginning, and from my perspective we were a team: you drink, I replenish.
The early days of this Cyclamen’s life in my house made for a smooth human-plant cooperation, where I could get to watch her in the mornings helping me to wake up, while providing her with water in the way she likes it. As the weeks went by the plant started to reproduce less and less flowers. My first consideration was well, this must be seasonal, she is now going into shut-down mode. Still curious about this aspect, I looked around in flower stores for more of her kind, and found that her kind does not enter into shut-down, hibernation processes. My Oxalis does such a thing, she even pretends to be dead, only to come back to life after several weeks. I once gave a friend an Oxalis and I told her that that is what they do, but she still threw her away after the plant became pretentious with death threats.
What was taking place in my bathroom was not this Cyclamen’s normal behaviour pattern. On the other hand, having met with the Parsley plant that survived the entire winter outside with below freezing temperatures and snow, I considered that this is another candidate defying conventions. Human conventions mind you, my and your programming how life around us should be, because we say so. Over the course of a couple more weeks the plant lessened her existence drastically what was once a glorious ocean of fusia, was now merely a spot of green. I did not know what to do, and I just left it at that.
The window sill where the fusia plant is located hauses my collection of two gray-white patterned stones, a fossil, a hematite, and some metal boxes with interesting relief patterns. The predominant colours in that area are metal and gray and well, fusia and green from the plant. Even the plant’s pot is made from metal to match the rest of the objects. Meanwhile, for some time now I have a side project that is I am conducting a major elimination process of my personal belongings. I therefore have been moving objects around and re-arranging them as I work on different areas of my flat where I store “stuff”. The other day when I started to work on my elimination process in one corner of my flat, I came across a nice glass bottle I had used for watering plants that I have since moved away from that area. I then decided to move this bottle out of my way and into the bathroom where I can use it to water the Cyclamen.
Over the course of the last two weeks that is what I have done, instead of taken the Cyclamen from the window sill and holding it under the faucet of my bathroom sink to fill up the saucer, I now just fill up the glass bottle and pour the water into the saucer without having to move the plant. I noticed that during precisely this timeframe the Cyclamen seems to be recovering with great speed. She has grown several leaves, these leaves are bigger and sturdier, and she has started to form several new buds as well.
Can you guess the common sense of this story that escaped my brainwaves? Since when do plants walk to their water source? Plants like the Cyclamen, or perhaps most plants, do not like to be picked up periodically and moved around never to return to the same position. This is exactly what happened. I picked up this plant at least twice a week and watered it, put it back on the window sill however I saw fit, and that was it.
In reality my starting point was me, me, me – I did not consider what is best for all and I did not use 1 +1 = 2 to get there. I considered what worked for “me”. This is the way I do it, and this is fine. Even for myself it was not very practical because the window sill is narrow and so I had to jiggle the plant back into the right position. What have I learned here? I learned that my starting point really does come with every breath, and small actions cannot be underestimated. Every thing I do matters and has an impact on others – and to deem otherwise is not functioning from the standpoint of what is best for all.