My poor sweet little plant.
In the late days of fall, I received a beautiful little gift of red blooms to brighten my days. It was lovely for the first week or two, and with some watering I prolonged its life. But a short while later, it withered away to almost nothing. The stems were black and death hovered above its roots.
In years past I’ve simply tossed a plant like this into the compost with a shrug, but this year I wondered if it could be brought back to life. I cut it back, re-potted it, watered what was left and then waited. Nothing seemed to be happening, but I gave it a spot in the pale winter sunshine and watered it when needed. The Christmas season came and went and once the tree was down and the decorations were away, there stood the little plant, a slight bit of green poking through the dirt.
Amazed at its resilience, I faithfully cared for it and watched it grow and expand into a pretty little burst of green on the top of the piano. One day, half the plant died! So I cut it back again and nurtured what was left. As the weeks went by and spring crept closer, it was joined on the top of the piano by pans of vegetable seedlings, a pretty little succulent, some sunlight-hungry hollyhock sprouts, a mini-rose bush on a plant stand and an experiment that has us attempting to grow sunflowers in a small zip-top bag.
After already watering it once this week, I noticed this morning that it was shrivelled and sad. To my surprise, the leaves dropped at my touch. Disappointment set in. I had a plan for this little plant and we were nearly at the finish line! I was hoping that if I could keep it alive another month, I might be able to transplant it to the front planter outside and watch it bloom in the summer sunshine.
Can this little November plant be saved yet another time? I got to work pruning the sections that were definitely dead, gave it deep drink and found it a new home with more direct sunlight away from all the other plants. Only time will tell if my plant CPR will work, but the consistent work of checking, watering, re-potting and pruning was a necessity to give the two remaining stems a chance to survive.
After over a decade of trying my hand at growing things, I still have so much to learn, not only in plant care but in lessons that transfer beyond the soil to my heart.
Jesus’ words in John 15 come to mind (John 15:1-8 NIV):
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”