Sunday, January 12, 2014

Growing Power

Stock brokers talk about growing portfolios; pediatricians and therapists talk about the personal growth of their patients, but the kind of growth referred to here relates to the plant kingdom.

People with a knack for cultivating their viridiplantae (a nod to Latin lovers) have "green thumbs." Others, who seem to kill everything they touch that grows in dirt, have "black thumbs." However, the secret in transitioning from black to green follows the same formula as everything else under the sun: awareness and attention to the 'what is.'

If you didn't grow up on a farm, or have a parent that grew their own food or at least a small garden, then mostly likely you are flummoxed at the thought of planting anything. Or maybe that orchid in your apartment or on your office desk simply withered and died on the vine, never to grace your space with its beauty again. And now you think that your romance with plants has withered away and you are incapable of ever loving again.

But it doesn't take a psychiatrist or a minister to regenerate faith in your ability to have a plant relationship. Simply learning what grows in light, what likes shade, what likes shade and light, what likes lots of water, what hates too much water, what likes cool and what likes warm, and what kind of soil to use - those are the ingredients that any nursery or online trove of plant information can deliver poste haste. Of course this requires attention and observation, but hey, those are good skills to cultivate anyway, even if you don't want to grow a plant. (It would be a good brain exercise if you want to learn to cook as well.)

The reason for all the above nudging to grow grow grow is simple. I woke up with the blahs. I hate the blahs, although they are better than the urrghhs. Nonetheless, it was a sunny day and the greenery outside the window caught my eye. As Southern California provides hospitable weather for humans, it enabled me to open the front door and saunter out. And lord almighty, a bunch of bushes called "Wilson's Wonder" had bloomed overnight, spewing gold, red, white and yellow all over the place.

And then I smiled and warm fuzzies filled my heart. No matter how many people were killed yesterday due to illness, starvation, torture, accidents, or war, something on this planet grew, bloomed and flourished - right in my own yard.

So if anyone out there despairs of the world situation, or a family situation, or a personal issue no one knows about, grow a plant! At least then you can know for sure that good things are happening in the world.







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