Resilience

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,
Dorothy

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

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