I can always tell when I’m running out of steam, getting exhausted with the job of keeping up with life. I forget to take care of my plants. In my mind I think, “God, I can’t take care of one more living thing right now…” It just feels like an overwhelming responsibility since they can’t do anything for themselves. Weird?
Well, when I looked at my African Violet this morning, I knew it had happened again. Dead leaves everywhere, totally out of water. Sigh. The plant is struggling anyway. It’s old. It’s actually the “offspring” of a plant my mom gave me when Drollery and I got married nearly 44 years ago. It has been knocked off shelves and pieces broken off several times, root bound and needing repotted, and just nearly withered away to nothing. This particular plant is actually one of the broken pieces.
As I saw it sitting there in the window I toyed with the idea of finally throwing it out. But when I got it down, I saw there was a purple flower trapped beneath a leaf in the middle fighting to escape. I’d forgotten it was time for it to bloom. My neglect certainly hadn’t helped. I set the captive free and cleaned the plant up. Pulled off dead leaves, loosened the dirt. I just can’t bring myself to throw it away. I’m going to find another place to put it. Somewhere with good light but not so close to the cold outside.
The plant reminded me of me this morning. Forlorn. (But then I USUALLY look that way when I get up in the morning!) My brother-in-law who has been struggling with lung cancer for three years now is going through the last life-saving measures he will ever take. The next step is Hospice. I imagine anyone who has or has had a loved one going through this “waiting game” knows how powerless you feel to help. Greg is at peace, but my sister is broken and bleeding. This is her second marriage after a very difficult one, and they have been so happy. They had both just retired when this happened. Now all of their dreams are gone. It’s one of those times I want to shake my fist at God and demand an explanation.
But as I sat here pondering my African Violet after I’d cleaned it up, I began to hope that somewhere down the road after this dark night of our souls we will find a purple flower hidden under a leaf. And so this morning, that’s what I’m praying for..