I don’t have a green thumb. When my garden looks nice, it’s from sheer fortune and hardy plants that refuse to succumb to my continuous neglect. But that doesn’t mean I don’t try… at times. Over the years, my favorite household plant has become the Peace Lily, otherwise known as Spathiphyllum. (They forgive neglect repeatedly.)
Many months ago, we were given an assorted basket of flowers. I crammed the gorgeous display into a decorative pot, shoved it in front of a kitchen window, and watered it when I remembered. As the arrangement grew, the plants began to suffocate in the confined space, so I moved a few out. One small plant that looked especially undernourished and wilted was moved to a more spacious pot.
The leaves of the tiny plant went through stages: droopy to curled. They never showed much promise of beauty, but I continued to offer water. (I even added a Jobes plant food spike. I know, call me generous.) Despite the lack of growth or flower production, I didn’t give up.
While we were away on a week-long trip to the beach, a metamorphosis occurred. The ugly plant exploded with growth and bloomed… and it wasn’t just an ugly, wilty plant with short leaves when we returned… it was a dandelion. Yes, that’s right… in a pot… near my kitchen window… I grew a dandelion.
Seeing the flowering dandelion made me think about my writing. Every story begins as a seed, a spec, a passing thought that you must nurture. The growth takes time, effort, and energy because otherwise the seedling will not develop into a complete story. I have a file of stories that were allowed to grow to a certain point before they were put aside. Was it because I suddenly realized I’d invested my energy in a weed? Or perhaps that was a sign I needed to step back and evaluate what I was nurturing? Was I too quick to judge?
Although the plant growing in my pot is considered a weed, I have decided to let it remain for now because it earned its spot. The dandelion flourished when I took more care of it and gave it room to grow. And no mother would ever scoff at a freshly picked bouquet of these bright yellow flowers nor would a person strolling through a field deny trying their luck with a dandelion’s blowball and one deep breath. The transformation of the yellow flower becoming a blowball was fascinating to watch and if I had thrown out the plant, I would have missed my chance to witness the change.
Not every plant will become a daisy, some must become the dandelion. Maybe there is beauty in that as well.