4 days ago
dodie bought me a little succulent back in January, when a dream I had was over and I was distraught in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. She rallied all my friends and they came over bearing gifts: Lizzy and James with my favorite candies, Nathan with figurines of ocean animals, Elizabeth with the big hard pretzels I love, my mom with a new teacup, and dodie with the plant. • “Your dreams will grow,” she told me, if I remembered to water them. I needed my friends so badly that night, and they showed up to heal my heart. They helped me start, at least. And from there I kept going. I ate the candy and the pretzels, washed the teacup out with extra care, and lined the ocean animals up along the side of the bathtub. And I watered the plant as often as I remembered, and was surprised to watch it grow. A few months later my Crohn’s was acting up. I couldn’t eat anything and the pain was unimaginable; I spent nights curled into a heating pad and trudged to the doctor for every exploratory procedure I could think of. On one of my weaker days, a time when I was fasting, I asked my mom to go with me to the nursery and pick out a new plant. We chose a fern this time. I told myself that by the time this plant got bigger, my body wouldn’t hurt so badly. My succulent is tall now, and strong. And when I think of my January pain my heart feels sealed over. It doesn’t hurt anymore, not like it did before. I still can’t eat the things I want to, but my fern is small. I have time to sort it out. I’m going through a hard time right now. Lots of feelings of inadequacy and coming up short. I think it might be time for a new plant. Problems can feel so overwhelming when we try to face them head on and fix them right away. It’s amazing how much good a little time and watering will do. I think I’d like to have the proof. I think I’d like to build a garden.