I’ve mentioned before that I have a terrible way with plants. I always have so much hope with a new plant, and for a while it seems to be thriving, but then I inevitably kill it. My cherry tomato plant happens to be doing very well at the moment (knock wood), but my herbs all died while I was away house-sitting for my friend. I did come by and water them every other day, but something went wrong. My friend CW says I must be really good with them if my mere absence from the household prompted their death, but I suspect he was just being nice.
A few months ago, my beloved jade plant I have had for two years started to die slowly. The branches were sagging and shriveling; chunks were falling off. I tried to save it. Sun? Water? Less water? Shade? I had no idea what to do so I tried everything. Eventually I just left it sitting on the patio and sadly ignored it. The last few branches fell off the plant and there seemed to be nothing I could do.
These days, however, I think there might be some new life forming:
Some of these fallen-off chunks have started to take root. They’re hanging out, quietly, doing their thing, possibly growing. If I had thrown them away when they fell off instead of just letting them be, they would’ve never had that chance. My inaction may be allowing them to grow anew. I don’t want to get too hasty, though: like I said, I have a terrible way with plants. In spite of the current promising situation, there could still be some way for me to fuck this up and kill it for good.
I am exercising caution and, for now, letting the jade plant do its thing without much intervention. I’m sure the plant knows better than I do what it needs, and my manic and desperate measures to try to fix it, to make it grow the way I want it to, to corral its behavior like some kind of succulent bonsai artist, are likely to just make things worse. For the moment, I am following the path of inaction.
This post is literally true. As are most other things in life, though, it is also a metaphor.