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What My Dying Plants Taught Me (Part 1)

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

There was a snow storm when I moved back to Pennsylvania from Chicago. I say that I “fled” the city and it’s true, I packed as fast as I could , well I rushed the movers. When my mom arrived I had a few more things to pack but the spirit behind me leaving was swift.

Chicago was a place where I grew. I’d been living on my own for years, and something about that city made me mature emotionally. I loved it.

So why did I leave?! Well, the pandemic discouraged a lot of things. It's taken so much from everyone. I was in a long distance relationship, looters and protestors were tearing up downtown below my window and I was in a depressive lull fighting Coronavirus.

Me, my plants and my dog Rico were trying to survive.

At the time that I got ill with the virus, it was still so early in the pandemic that the clinic on the campus where I lived and worked wouldn’t test me. My symptoms were not on the CDC list. I couldn’t taste or smell most of Spring 2020 and all Summer.

On top of all that, my job and church still had things they needed me to do. My neck was tight from the stress. I barely watered myself in that season, let alone my plants in the window. I tried tho.

I spent a lot of time on the floor, praying...

On the floor crying...

On the floor, writing and trying to figure out what I should do.

I had to leave to live.

My ex didn’t care either way. He didn’t help me move back home, didn’t ask the details. I should have dumped him before I allowed his nonchalant attitude to rip away at my esteem and joy. The relationship had been dead.

When I packed the last few boxes in the van, I noticed my plants were already bending in different positions. They looked like they hated the car. It’s like they knew that change was coming, and there was.

Mom and I drove carefully in a storm and I left the plants in the car overnight. The next morning the plants looked a mess, sad actually the next morning.

I sat the 4 plants in the window of my new room. I was concerned about them but they were not a top priority. I treated those plants with just enough care to be alive, but not with enough love to thrive. Those plants were like my soul, weary from the conditions.

The conditions of my life were uncomfortable. I didn’t get much oxygen or love from my last months in Chicago. They say you grow in dark times, but I didn’t wanna hear that then, I just wanted to get to the fun part of life, the part where you don’t have to be afraid.

I expected to get what I needed to survive from people, instead of looking within to water my own soil. I wanted someone to see me, feel me and say, “ it’s ok to rest, to take a break, to heal, to desire love.”

To be continued….

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