Posts Tagged ‘plant’

A fertilizing presence

May 15, 2010

As I promised myself, I took yesterday’s blog to work to remind me of what my intent is. All day long, I kept thinking “this moment is tomorrow’s fertilizer.” And, I thought, “I hope it smells okay.”

Occasionally, I would think “One of these tomorrows, I will have to pay for all this doo-doo I am spreading around here today.” I know what THAT will smell like.

And you thought this was going to be something about fertility or having babies — something pleasant that smells real pretty.

Nope. I’m growing different stuff here. I’m growing tomorrow.

Because we are gifted with past memory and the ability to anticipate our future, we know how life has been in the past. While we cannot guarantee how life will be tomorrow, we know enough to rely on the fact that if nothing changes, our tomorrow will pretty much be like today.

But, of course, life changes. Sometimes we are in charge of the change. Sometimes, change seems random and arbitrary . . . more like it happens to us rather than because of us. There is even a school of thought and theory that believes we are the cause of everything that happens in our lives.

And it does not matter if we believe that theory or not. What matters is tomorrow is going to happen (even if your body dies, you will continue to exist), so what do we want to plant today to grow tomorrow?

In each moment, I have to be completely present so that I can be present for the next moment. That is the first seed I work to plant each day. Next, I pay attention to my eternal presence and respond with the thoughts, words, and actions that are congruent with my true presence. That is my fertilizer. I like who I am finding: someone who loves peace and tranquility but who also loves to work through challenges . . . someone who knows there is enough in the world for everyone so most of our conflict in this reality is just made-up nonsense . . . and someone who believes in her power to create tomorrow by taking care of today.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

The presence of plants

May 5, 2010

When I discovered that plants were made of the same spirit as I am, it occurred to me that they might very well have souls, too. The spirits of trees, grass, and other plant life is so dense where I live, I see them in abundance, and can hear and feel their life force. Indoors, I can also feel their absence, so I learned container gardening to surround myself with that feeling all the time. When I lived in a condominium, every spring I would dress my deck in anything that flowered and bloomed in the sun. I was so plant smitten that when I spotted a potted plant (to honor my plants, I will someday figure out their names, but for right now, they are all called “plant”) placed next to the dumpster, I had to rescue it. Evidently, people had moved out and decided to throw it away. It was perfectly healthy so I adopted it. The plant fit in well with all the others and flourished.

When I moved to a townhouse, I recaptured the decadence on that deck. Each spring, nearly every square foot was occupied with something growing. I left enough space for a small table and two chairs so I could sit outside and enjoy that abundance. In the late fall, just before the first frost, I would gather them all inside and nurture them throughout the winter. The plant I had rescued grew to the point where I had to separate it into three separate plants.

Then, I moved again — during the blizzard that paralyzed Washington DC and Maryland this past February. I got just about everything into storage and the place where I am living, except the plants. There was not enough space for all of the plants, so some had to be left outside. Exhausted from moving, I left some of the larger plants in my car overnight, intending to find space for them inside the next day. One of those was the plant I had rescued from the dumpster.

By morning, though, that plant was frozen. Its leaves were limp and dark. One of the plant’s offspring I had left in the car nearly suffered the same fate, but it still had some bright green leaves. I felt awful about leaving that plant to freeze to death. I remembered reading a proverb that once you save someone’s life, you are responsible for that person. I had rescued the plant, and I was responsible for seeing that it survived. Now, I had failed it.

All the rest of the winter and into the spring, I consoled myself with the fact that two of its offspring survived. But I would still look at that dead plant with its now brown shriveled leaves and regret that I had not taken the time that night to at least drag it into the garage. I kept the soil moist by watering it when I watered the other plants because I had full intentions of transplanting one of the offspring into that container.

The warm days finally arrived last week. I took all of the surviving plants outside and cleaned out the debris from the dead plant. As I pulled the dry and brittle leaves away, I saw tiny sprouts of green at the base of the stalks.

The plant was not dead.

Somehow, it had survived my neglect and bad decision, and kept enough of itself alive until the sun and my occasional watering gave it strength to grow again.

People say, “it’s just a plant.”

But it is also life and a lesson remembered.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass