Updated: Aug 20, 2021
March seems like both forever ago and yesterday at the same time. As cliche as it sounds, I truly cannot wrap my head around where the time has gone this year. SO MUCH of the deep seeded shit America has desperately tried to cover up for... forever is not only surfacing, but being shoved right in our face.
Aside from Covid-19, the problems flooding our day to day are not new, they are just out in broad daylight for the world to see.
It's difficult to see day in and day out.
As a midwife, a person of color, the wife of a black man in America, and mother to 2 black children (they're mixed but to the world they're black), this year has been personally difficult for a multitude of reasons. I was finding that despite my regular routine that was once keeping my anxiety at bay, I was becoming more and more anxious. The tightness in my chest that once only stopped by once in a while, was becoming quite uncomfortably comfortable. It felt she was moving in and I wanted no part of it. I started diving back into my creative outlets. Painting, drawing, creating... and then... one day during my quick grocery store run I came across this dark black and green succulent (that I later learned is named Black Prince) and I just had to have him. I had always thought succulents looked so uniquely beautiful but never thought about having any of my own simply due to the fact that I am very good at killing plants. But I picked this little guy up and figured I'd give it a shot. Maybe I could keep him alive...
I wasn't ready for what happened next!
I found myself intrigued with this little guy which opened the succulent gates! It wasn't long before I added a cactus, key lime pie, chicks and hen, and another beautiful echeveria flower. Suddenly I was losing time tending to my little babies. Day in and day out I watch and observe. What do they like? Dislike? Need? What am I doing right? Wrong? The beauty of succulents is that they are incredibly forgiving which is a nice reminder that we too should be more forgiving of ourselves.
Stillness and patience are not always my strong suits. No, I take that back, they're NEVER my strong suits... plants demand patience. You cannot rush anything with plants. You have to tend to them and make small adjustments that may or may not work, and you wait and simply enjoy their presence. Imagine if we treated our relationships this way. Imagine if we treated the relationship with ourselves this way. How healing it could be If we were patient with ourselves. Watering, fertilizing, providing warmth, nurturing ourselves. Not comparing our bloom to those around us, but instead, being proud of our own beauty.
Never did I ever think I would find such peace and solace with plants but here I am. Slowly growing my collection of both succulents and other plants alike. I don't know what I am doing but if I pay attention, the plants let me know if they aren't happy. It is my happy place. Away from the politics, away from the hate and ugly in the world. I don't over-think when I tend to my plants. I don't have any expectations from them, I simply enjoy being in their presence.
Finding that thing, or things, that allow you to get away and decompress are important for your overall health and wellness. We must create space for ourselves. This doesn't have to take up a ton of time, although you should carve out some real time for yourself at least once a week. It can also be something as simple as filling your space with things that make you smile, that bring you joy ;-)
Maybe, just maybe, a small little succulent is just what you need to bring a little extra joy to your day.
I will be sharing my new addiction with you all as I go. <3
I would love to hear about your plant journey as well! Please feel free to share any tips and advice!