May 5, 2020
Oakland, CA
Sunny and warm

On top of my refrigerator there sits a philodendron, which, since I am short, I seldom see and even more seldom, water. The other day, I looked up and really saw it. The leaves were curled up and turning brown. “It’s going to die!” I said to myself, “unless I water it right away.” I couldn’t reach it with the watering can, so I pulled it down, put it in the sink, and turned on the water. It was a last ditch resuscitation effort.

Nothing happened. Still hopeful, I left it in the sink overnight. The next morning, some of the leaves had partially uncurled and were trying to stand up straight. It looked encouraging so I left it in the sink. The next morning, all of the leaves were standing tall and smiling, except for the ones that had turned completely brown. I removed the brown leaves and moved it to the counter next to the sink.

Two mornings later, I could see that new leaves were starting to grow in the same places where the old leaves had almost died. They were not replacing the old leaves, they were adding new leaves to the whole plant. From the place where it appeared that death was coming soon, new life was springing, and joy was springing up in my heart as well.

This is resilience – coming back from the Edge to new life, even better than before. Philodendron is a plant of long life and prosperity. I have seen them in Chinese restaurants, festooned across the ceiling, protecting the owners from disaster, and, very likely, the customers as well.

We have the same capacity to renew ourselves after misfortunes. The philodendron is showing us what is possible. With only a little water, it recreates itself. We, also, possess within us the water we need for renewal. We will come through these current difficulties with greater wisdom, joy, and energy for our new life.

Your friend,

Kindly visit the Facebook page of my mentor, Rahul Starr Patel.
Recommended reading: “The Way of the Roseby Clark Strand and Perdita Finn

9 thoughts on “Resilience”

  1. This is such a timely literary piece on life, death, and transformation! Thank you for reminding us of the power of resilience during this difficult time of uncertainty and unexpected loss of those dear to us.

  2. So good to feel your words Dorothy flowing through as the stream of divine light always present, always in transformation.
    Yes life is in-forming, re-forming.
    Life IS Always.
    Much love,
    Ginny Nadler

  3. This filled me with such hope. Even when we’re on the “edge” we can come back to life — love it! Thank you, Dorothy!

  4. Faith Darling

    Thank you for a very timely reminder, Dorothy. Your philodendron is a perfect symbol for renewal; I’ve been through that near-death experience several times with mine and it always comes back as beautiful and enthusiastic as ever.

  5. Margaret Anderson

    Lovely, dear Dorothy. Your story brings such a sense of the NOW and what is already happening. “We, also, possess within us the water we need for renewal…” The “We” – doing this together – feels like the water we need.

  6. Dear Dorothy, how appropo to somehow be guided to this window on Resiliance. We at my daughters house have this very same plant, in the very same inaccessible place. I am the only one who cares for plants here, because seeing them gives life and joy to my heart. However, like you, I can only see it and enjoy it when I look up. And like you, I have to get someone to get it down, every so often to try and resurrect it, from… So you put new meaning to my labor of love. It is well named, resilient. But we that Believe we can resurrect it, give it back Life, where it might not have had it, are the Stewart’s, of Life. And we will Survive and God willing we’re will Thrive through this crisis of all our being, mental, physical, emotional, financial and Most of all Spiritual, which is the Glue that holds us altogether. God Bless you and keep you doing your awe inspiring work. Your dear Friend, Honey

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