We both received one as a gift from my sisters-in-law at a dinner party that my mother-in-law and I hosted. Each plant came with humble leafy green beginnings and lovely pink buds just ready to blossom. They both looked hopeful, with a lot of potential; they stood strong. I took my plant upstairs and watched it hold guard over it’s humble ceramic house.
Until it didn’t.
I sat it on the corner of the mantle in our sun room. I didn’t give it too much attention, but
I did throw in a glass of water every now and then when I passed by. When it started to wilt, I moved it to the center of our kitchen table in front of a big window; it accompanied us at meals. But it was clearly waning. I continued to water it when it looked dry. Finally, when it had just four lazy, skinny stems attempting to hold up its wilting, brown leaves, I took it downstairs to throw away. My MIL met me on the last step, “awhhhh, the poor thing.”
Then she showed me her plant, sitting in front of the window that she spent time looking out of every day. Three months had passed since our dinner party and her plant was absolutely majestic! Healthy strong stems. Beautiful green leaves. Towering vibrant flowers.
“Oh wow! What’s your secret?” I was truly amazed. “No secret… just a little love every day.” I LOL’d. Yeah, I did that already. “No, seriously… how’d you do it?” She assured me that love was all it took.
So, how did she love it?
Well, she genuinely enjoyed that plant! In fact, she admired it every day. She actually looked forward to seeing it when she settled into her window seat. She nurtured its life by seeing its detailed beauty. She took the time to awe over its inherent qualities of strength, dimension, uniqueness, and purpose. And, with no ulterior motive or personal agenda, she simply loved it… every day.
I knew it was too late for my plant, but I promised to do better with the next one. “Oh, it’s not too late… it’ll come around.” She marched me back upstairs with my tired four-stemmed failure in hand and told me go love it up. She was absolutely certain that my lifeless friend would respond with a little love. And, you know what? I wanted to believe her.
I relocated my plant to my desk in my home office where I spent a good amount of time every day. And I looked at that plant… every day. I mean, I honestly, deeply looked into that plant. I noticed interesting qualities of the form and color of its leaves. Who knew there were so many variations of the color green? I saw a lot of life in those colors. I admired the gentle persistence of those skinny stems that struggled to hold up their sturdy leafy hats.
Amazingly, those weak stems gained strength and substance. Soon, they were joined by more stems peeking out of their black dirt bed. And more. Later, sweet little pink buds started to form. Then, beautiful fuchsia flowers. I was truly enjoying that plant!
No, it didn’t happen over night. And, yes, it did take a conscious effort every day. But, my MIL was right… it’s amazing what a little love can do.
So I can’t help thinking… if love works this good on plants, imagine what it can do for our pets and our peeps.