I've watered my plants twice since coming back from Mexico, including the last plant on my windowsill that I still water despite thinking it's dead-dead. It's a dried-up succulent - now, a small pot of dirt - with two teeny succulent petals sitting on top, wisps of silvery-white roots still attached. I was getting ready to toss it in the trash this morning when I saw this:
Well I'll be damned, I thought. The two random petals had decided to plant roots (pun intended) into the soil of my succulent graveyard. And then they decided to blossom. Just like the guy at the flower shop, Carlos, told me they would.
About a month ago, I bought teeny succulents for a friend and asked a shop employee for advice on how to not kill my own plants. A man named Carlos offered up some "how-tos," and basically told me to never give up. He told me that even when you think succulents are dead, they aren't. They may conk out for a bit, but they'll learn to adjust to their new environment and grow back stronger than ever. He then handed me two succulent petals unattached to a plant, with barely visible roots hanging from their inner corners. I was instructed to set them right on top of a pot of soil. To water them. To watch them grow.
I told him he was crazy.
I'm not sure how I missed these teeny blossoms when I watered the plants a few days ago. Or yes I do, it's because I didn't take the two seconds to look. I was probably paying attention to my phone - while watering plants, of course - or to my TV, or to the dogs, whatever, instead of paying attention to what was going on around me. Or, they weren't even there a few days ago and they've newly sprouted, leaving my wannabe philosophical reasoning for the birds. Or for the plants. Petals, specifically.
But this morning I was baffled. How did these petals not blow away outside? How did the roots not die? And how are roots flying off of petals, anyway? Seriously, how the hell did these things grow!? More thoughts came flooding. About growth, about life and love and what lies ahead, about death. All these emotions and life metaphors came rushing into focus.
Over a fucking plant. Over the growth of a fucking plant.
It's when you least expect it that things happen, big or small. You leave one relationship and wind up finding one better suited for you; you're offered a new job opportunity in a different country; hell, your dad calls you one day after almost eight years and you learn you have somewhat of a green thumb and can apparently grow plants from just a damn petal. Growth. Always when you least expect it. Or don't even expect it at all.