January 10: Let’s Celebrate “Houseplant Day”!

My mother-in-law has a green thumb. Hearty, lush plants line windowsills, adorn side tables, and stand proudly in hallways, as if saluting when you walk by.

The only time my thumbs are green are when I’m dyeing Easter eggs.

So when a dear friend of mine gifted me with a potted shamrock that came from her grandmother’s plant, I was equal parts anxious and hopeful. Although all of her predecessors seemed to wilt at the sight of me, maybe her three leaves of luck would bring a little good fortune to both of us.

My little potted shamrock is perched on the bookshelf beside my desk…and two months later, we are still office mates.

Shortly after the country was locked down and everyone was going a little stir crazy, I came across an image with some good advice: “Drink water and get sunlight because you’re basically a houseplant with more complicated emotions.” It seems like simple advice, but aren’t water and sunshine two of life’s most basic ingredients?

As time has gone on, though, this little houseplant has had a lot more to teach me than just the merits of H20 and Vitamin D.

She is resilient. Even in the hands of an unskilled gardener, she has found a way to flourish. Sometimes I water her too much, sometimes too little. The overhead lights are on all day, but then the basement is dark most of the weekend. Nevertheless, she persisted.

She’s super dramatic. Sometimes on a Saturday evening when I take the trash out through the basement, I’ll see her drooping over the sides of the pot, languishing at the lack of attention since Friday afternoon. But Monday mornings, as soon as I open the blinds and give her a little drink, she pops right back up, ready to face the day. It’s okay to be a little dramatic sometimes. We all have our moments. You just have to rebound.

Finally, she’s a quiet colleague. She doesn’t take up much space. But her presence makes me happy. There’s something about the shape of her vibrant green leaves that just makes me smile. I like looking over during the day and seeing her there. Isn’t that the kind of friend you love to have? The kind of friend who just makes the room a little brighter and happier, just like the friend who gave her to me?

learning the meaning of different flowers here!

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