For the last couple of weeks I have been lamenting about a change that is occurring in my life. Now I know that lamenting is a pretty strong word to use to describe my reaction to the change, but it is truthful nonetheless. It all started with a plant that was given to me when my daughter was born more than 30 years ago, the pink plastic “It’s a girl” sign is still in the vase. If you are surprised that a plant given to me that long ago is still living, don’t be. If by chance you are wondering why on Earth I would still have it around, I have no explanation other than that I watered it and nurtured it all those years, and it survived. So why write about a plant? Because it shares a great number of similarities with the way I happen to live my life!
We are all older, my daughter, myself and The Plant. We have all gone through life, experiencing it in our own way. The Plant has been a spectator in my life and I feel that we have a close and somewhat symbiotic relationship. Really . . . The Plant and I have been there for each other. Recently The Plant has begun to change dramatically. Its leaves are no longer as full and lush, most of them have withered, yellowed and shriveled and died. No matter what I do, it will not revive. These changes to The Plant come at a time in my own life when my daughter is living her own life and needs less of, or from me. I wondered if The Plant realized that it was time for it to move on as well and was signaling me in its time-honored way, to do the same. After all, I raised, nurtured and loved my daughter right into adulthood . . . and I am proud to have done so successfully.
I will admit that I have a habit of holding on to things, situations too long. Holding on is an easy trap to fall into and it becomes easier still, to get really comfortable with the status quo. But alas, life has other plans. Change will come. Nothing is forever. The Plant has been with me throughout the many changes that have already occurred in my life, probably noting my reaction to the ride. Now it’s no longer amused with my inability to let go voluntarily and no longer tolerating my stubbornness. This is the end of the line. I will have to go forward without my plant as I knew it.
My daughter now has a family of her own with her beloved. Letting her go wasn’t easy, but I realize that her growth away from me is part of life’s cycle. In her growth lies an opportunity for me to continue. Just like my plant, that part of my life cannot be revived; in its place are fond memories.
And The Plant . . .? Well, the other day, I noticed that a new shoot was pushing its way up through the soil. It is as if The Plant and I are somehow starting all over again as infants. I can’t wait for us to begin this new journey! Remember, don’t stunt your own growth by stubbornly clinging to the past and refusing to let go.
Grow on . . . Think about it. See you next week.