There are some people with whom you form an instant connection. Without meaning to, when gathered together over pots of tea you’re speaking in some kind of shorthand for normal conversation. That’s my pal Sophie, and I.
One of Soph’s friends ventured this might be on account of the fact that we met via Twitter and so became accustomed to communicating in 140 characters or less. Perhaps that’s true! Or perhaps it’s something to do with our writerly, poetic-type brains?
I dunno. But whenever we get together, all kinds of ideas are exchanged via odd word conjunctions that seem to make sense to us. But probably not to an eavesdropper. Sorry eavesdroppers!
The other week, in response to various discussion points on such things as one’s life purpose (and how we don’t all fit into the same mould), and what happens when you pick up your life and move interstate, I proposed the following:
If you look at the vast array of plant-life in the world, there are so many different species and they all have different needs. We don’t treat all plants the same, not if we want them to thrive. So we need to figure out what sort of plant we are, and consequently how to care for ourselves appropriately.
Am I right?
For example: how much water, shade, and sunlight do we need? What kind of soil works best? Which climate do we thrive in (tropics, desert, seasonal or average weather)? Are we a hardy or delicate creation? A tree? A shrub? A flower? A vegetable? A succulent?
Are we plants in the wild, or in nicely groomed gardens? Do we bloom in the daytime or at night?
Apparently Soph might be an Aloe.
Personally I think she’s an Aloe Vera (the softer, juicier variety), compared to the photo she sent to me.
Not sure what I am yet! There’s a good chance I reckon, that I’m some kind of bush flower. Like this…
None of these variations in plant life are wrong – just different, you know? They all need different things in order to be their best.
Treating an orchid in the same way you’d treat a cactus is pretty ridiculous, right? Yet as human beings, we tend to think of ourselves as a relatively one-size-fits-all kind of deal.
But we too, require different nutrients, soil and climates. We handle stress differently, and we flourish under different circumstances. For example, someone who is highly creative and artistic probably won’t do well in an office job. However that’s what said person might choose to do because the office job pays better.
Sadly, if that person continues to deny themselves the things that make them happy? They’ll get a little withered and become a rather distraught looking plant with crusty dried up soil and brown edges on their leaves.
Extending this rather useful metaphor… I then asked Soph what happens to a plant when you try to move it, from one pot to another or from a pot to a garden bed?
Of course, if you’re any sort of gardener at all, you’ll know this kind of operation requires subtlety. Extra love and attention. More water and nutrients than usual. Tenderness. Care.
You’ve gotta give the plant’s roots time to get over the shock of being transplanted, and develop connections to its new location so it can extract necessary plant food from the soil. It needs to regain a sense of stability, and not worry about whether it’ll be uprooted again any time soon.
Those who’ve moved interstate or overseas will know what I’m saying here, right? We think its gonna be so easy – once you’ve sorted and packed your boxes that is – to just hop on a plane or point your car in the direction of your new home. Arrive. Find new place to live and a new job. Done.
Although it never is. And often what’s neglected is that extra TLC we require to cope with the shock of our transplant. How do we thrive in this new soil? How do we handle the remembering of the old with the (temporarily) unbalanced new environment? What about our other plant friends, the ones we used to be planted right next to? And who are all these new plants? And why is the weather a little drier over here?
So, what kind of plant are you? Are you getting what you need, regardless of whether you’ve moved recently, or been in the same soil for ages?
Perhaps its time to up your fertiliser dosge, eh?