NOTE: This post orginally appeared in June of 2009. I’m reposting it partly in response to a conversation with a friend that brought it to mind, and partly as a series of reviewing my favorite posts. Sometimes instead of worrying about what new to write, I’d like to remind myself that I did have some creative ideas in the past.
I saw my daughter’s plant starting to wilt this morning.
When we bought the little plant, it was in a peat pot, and that peat pot was in a plastic container. Gardeners know that we normally would have taken the plant out of the plastic pot, dug a hole, and then placed the plant in a garden or something similar outside. However, having bought the plant just for a short science experiment with soil, we never moved the plant outside. My daughter was content to water the plant and stick it close to the window sill, where the sun would shine on it every morning, and she looked forward to lovingly caring for it every day.
The plant grew pretty well for a while. It had lovely little purple blooms, and soon was overflowing the pot. However, we still never took the time to replant it or prepare the outside ground for it. So it remained on the window sill.
Now despite the leaves growing over the side, I can see the yellow streaks on the leaves, the drooping of the blooms, and the lack of firmness in the stems. It seems even with the best of care, the plant has lost its desire to be all it was capable of being.
It is obvious that without intervention, the plant will die. Not because she’s not watering it, or because it’s not receiving adequate sunlight. It’s because its purpose is beyond the pot. No amount of loving tender care will change the fact that it was never designed to stay in the little container it started in. And by trying to force it to stay in the pot, we are only dooming the plant to a short flourish, followed by a long, desperate and dreary decline into death.
I won’t insult your intelligence by insinuating that you, the reader, are the plant. Suffice it to say, that some pots are self made. We make our own plastic pots, take great care of the plant, place the plant where we think it will be secure and safe, and think the plant will be happy. But nothing that is designed to be free can last under the boundaries of the pot. The plan for the plant must come to pass, if the plant is to ever make any progress.
I would love to say we are preparing a place outside for the plant. That is not the case. This particular plant has to deal with my daughter. But in my own life, I’ve learned the secret. The smell of rain is drawing me. I’m digging up places that once seemed like they should remain untouched, and I’m preparing to move from the pot to the garden. No longer will I be safe, but wilting and wasting away on the window sill, being cared for but not being consumed with my true purpose. While there may be weeds, storms, and other prettier plants in the garden, at least I’ll be where I’m purposed to be. And that is all I could ever ask for.