I often walk past a small front garden that contains three pot plants. I’m not sure what they are but they’ve been there a few years now. The plants outgrew their pots a long time ago, they desperately need repotting. In the summer they are dry and never seem to get watered by anyone. In the autumn they are full of water that doesn’t drain away, in fact I passed by them today and they were filled to the brim with rain water. In winter, when the temperature drops, they sit in frozen water-logged earth.

I’ve marvelled at their resilience to withstand such neglect, yet still stay alive. Then recently I looked at the plants with new eyes. They’ve never grown, they don’t look happy. Yes, the plants have survived the neglect, but they have not thrived. They have not reached their full potential. Thinking about it, people are the same. We can survive against the odds, we have amazing capabilities to battle what life throws at us, but that’s not living, it’s existing.

To bloom, nature and people need nurturing, loving and to be cared for. To love and be loved. We need to develop, to grow. If our ‘pots’ get too small for us it’s ok to move to a bigger and better ‘pot’ to expand. To seek out our place in life where we can bloom. To be with people who feed our souls, not neglect our needs. Children especially need love and care and gentle ‘re-potting’ as they outgrow each stage of life.

I never cease to be amazed by nature, especially the determination to survive. Gardening gives us the opportunity to take care of the living and in return the magic of the garden mends, repairs, replaces and extends. We can regenerate in the garden. Without loving care, plants and people become mere shadows of what they could have been.

As for those pot plants? Maybe one day I’ll go there in the dead of night and re-pot them!

Patricia Ann
October 2019