~ Pam Brown
I have written previously about my lack of ability to keep plants alive. The currant bush I wrote about in a post in August appears to be hanging on so far. The leaves are almost all gone, but I am thinking that is a seasonal thing. At least I hope so…
However the sickly bamboo plant I mentioned in a September post has
since died, and the beautiful Gerbera daisy plant a friend gave me that I photographed for a July post only lasted about a week before melting down into a wilted mess.
It’s not like I neglected the plants. Well, not entirely. Actually, the bamboo plant was doing rather well without my administrations. Then I moved it from my home office – where it was essentially abandoned after I quit working in March – into the living room so it could have some human companionship. Once there, it quickly proceeded to croak off. My daughter advised me not to take it personally. Maybe the plant was just a loner by nature.
The process of nurturing plants is often used analogously with the concept of nurturing friendships. In my case, plants I ignore seem to fare much better than the ones I attend to. Given that, I could possibly conclude that for me, friendships are better off left untouched. And that notion would work well with my overall personality. I’m pretty much a loner, kind of like my hapless bamboo buddy.
But for some reason, I don’t suppose that’s meant to be the real take-away lesson here. I need people in my life, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge the value of true friends (caring family members included). Despite my depression-induced attempts to cut myself off from the people around me, it’s those very same people who have been there to help me through difficult times.
Friendships are not to be taken for granted. Whether I am particularly good at cultivating them or not, I need to try. It really doesn’t take much. Even I can manage the occasional one-liner email, “thinking of you.” (I don’t even have to elaborate on what I am thinking; sometimes that is perhaps best left unsaid.)
And some friendships may thrive while others are a bust. I haven’t given up on the bamboo yet. I’ve cut off the dead shoots and have reverted to leaving it alone, giving it some space, thinking it may revive itself. If it doesn’t, I will take to heart another lesson: some relationships just aren’t meant to be and we may have to just move on.
I guess there are a lot of commonalities between cultivating friendships and cultivating plants. I know that when I feed a plant it turns green. The same goes for my friends sometimes. And with both friends and plants, it’s best not to dig up too much dirt on them.
With all that being said, I guess I’ll leaf it alone now.