My new cactus plant in my office window...for now
For most of my life, I’ve said, “I’m not good with plants” and this has become a self-fulfilling prophesy. The 2 that did really well, and grew to be almost tree-like, were a jade plant and a rosemary, both of which I gave away when I left Vermont 11 years ago to go work in a mission. Over the past few weeks, friends have offered me both a jade plant and a rosemary, and I really wanted them so I said yes. I was not always aware that our words create our realities. Saying, “I’m no good with plants” was, in my mind, simply telling the truth, stating a fact. I know better now and realized that I needed to start talking and thinking differently about this area of my life if I wanted it to change.
I was walking through the farmer’s market on Sunday and the plant person had this really big (about 3 feet tall) cactus for sale. I loved the look of it, have always liked cactus plants, and it was only $30, so I bought it, and thought, “I am going to change my belief that I am not good with plants. I am going to learn about plants, take care of them well and have a beautiful variety.” I felt very happy with my purchase.
A man helped the plant lady carry my cactus to the car, but it was heavy and part of it was sticking out. As they were trying to get onto the floor of the front seat, I grabbed the stem that was stuck on the outside of the car, and felt sharp, painful little pricks. I was in shock. I couldn’t really see what was going on but it felt like I had been stung by nettles. Once the cactus was inside and the car door closed, I drove about 10 feet and pulled over so I could put my glasses on and look at my hand. It was covered in little yellow hair-like spikes.
I felt dumb. Who doesn’t know not to grab a cactus plant? Me. I had tweezers in the car, and sat in the parking lot, for a while, pulling the thorns out. I suddenly didn’t feel that good about my purchase. I didn’t know what to do. My head started in. Why did I buy this plant that I know nothing about? I am terrible with plants. What am I going to do with it? How am I even going to get it out of my car? I can’t take it home and have it around the cats and Luke. If they touch it, they’ll get spiked too. I won’t be able to keep it when we move to Maine. The woman said that it will have to be re-potted in 3 to 4 years, how could I do that if I can’t even touch it? Can the spikes be removed?…..I was on a roll and it wasn’t good.
Finally I drove to Jack’s shop and he said, “I’ll grab some gloves and bring it up to your office”. I agreed to Jack’s temporary plan, since I could not see an alternative, and knew that I couldn’t drive around with it in the front seat of my car indefinitely. I wasn’t wild about looking at, what at the time felt like a “mistake” every time I entered my office, but I needed a solution and had none at the moment.
It has only been 2 days but I feel differently about this experience now, I’m even a little excited to see what will come of this.
There is so much value in sharing our “screw-ups” with loving friends. I think it would be fun and helpful to hear about other’s experiences too; what things you have done that seemed dumb at the time, but something good came from it, or you learned a valuable lesson (even if that was to laugh at yourself). So if this sounds like fun to you, let’s hear it!
“I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge”. Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
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