While I was visiting my Aunt in Ireland a couple of years ago I was admiring a small delicate red leaf plant she had in her kitchen (I’m not much of a plant person, this was very out of character for me), she said she had loads of the stuff all over her garden, I looked out the window and sure enough it was dotted around in little red clumps here and there. So she gave me the small flower pot I had been admiring.
A few days later I wrapped it up in newspaper and placed it in my luggage ready for the flight home. Upon my return I put it on the windowsill in my own kitchen and there sat for the next 6 months, doing what plants do best, sending out new shoots as older ones withered and died back. This continued until the rate of new shoots started to drop, the withering was out pacing the new and the plant started to look very sorry for itself. Eventually there was just a single shoot which didn’t last more than a week until it too withered and died.
I put this down to my lack of plant skills, I had fed & watered the plant, but I had no idea if I was doing this too much or too little. I tipped the soil from the pot at the bottom of my garden and put the flower pot in the shed and forgot all about it. That was last November, winter came, the ground froze, it snowed etc. Then in the spring my wife said there was a small red plant growing at the bottom of the garden!?
Yep, sure enough, there it was, sprouting out of a crack on my garden path. I was amazed that it had come back, how it had survived I’ll never know. So my wife replanted it (she’s the one with the green fingers) and put it back in our kitchen, where it’s thrived, so much so, that we’ve had to split it I now have a pot in my living room.
What I have learned from this little plant, is that no matter how small or insignificant you are, or how hostile the environment, if you stick to what you do best, you will survive & maybe even thrive. Whenever I’m doing something that everyone else is telling me is a waste of time or that there’s too big an obstacle to overcome I look at that little red plant and I know that if I’m passionate and dedicated enough about it, I’ll thrive.