I pick up scraps of plants. Sometimes from other yards, when I’m out with the dog. Sometimes they are parts that have fallen off of my own plants and they look like tiny bedraggled pieces of string with no life in them. But I pick them up. I take them with me. And somewhere I find a spare pot with some dirt in it, drop the poor orphan in, and wait and see. I often forget what I’ve done, and am surprised when I find something green in amongst the spare pots.
It always amazes me. Something so tiny and lifeless and dry and dirty and apparently dead can harbor the tiniest spark inside it, sometimes for years. And when the time is right, when sun and water and season combine to give it just the right nudge, a new leaf appears.
I feel like that lately. I’ve sprung a new leaf from a very old hidden root inside myself. When I was young I wrote all the time. Everything from plays to songs to short stories to some really awful poetry. But I wrote. Every day. I didn’t aspire to be a writer, I just wrote because I like putting thoughts out there into the universe and seeing what other thoughts they attract and develop and grow into.
One day someone made a very offhand comment about my writing. A comment that I’m quite sure they don’t remember at all. And it’s not their fault that I allowed that thought to sere my soul and my desire to write. “I tried to write, too,” she said. “But everything that can be said has been said. There’s nothing new to write.” And I thought oh, my, god, she’s right. Who am I to write? I am nothing new. I have no stories to tell. And the little plant that was happily rooting and spreading new leaves and searching for sunlight got ripped out of its pot and tossed on the compost heap. Left for dead. Not forgotten, but looked at as a failed project.
And years passed. Sometimes I’d sprinkle a little water on the tiny forgotten sprig. Sometimes I’d move it around to another pot. But I neglected it terribly. And tried not to think about how much I loved that plant and how it made me feel to tend to it.
But I am a gardener. Life bursts into bloom all around me in the yard. Every season new colors and leaves and textures and shapes spring into being. And I realized something. Every plant is different. They may be the same type. Same color. Same age. But they’re different. Each blooms individually. Each one has its own story. Without even realizing how happy it would make me, I went and found that tiny old sad root of an idea, that I could write my own ideas and stories, and I put it in a blog pot and watered it. And here it is, springing tiny new leaves. And now when I get up I have something I look forward to. I have thoughts and ideas just tumbling around in my head wanting to get out of the dark and into the light. I feel a sense of pleasure to get up and get going, and get those words out onto the page.