Watching plants grow is like watching kids

Published 8:46 am Monday, September 29, 2008

I have this plant growing outside my window. I have watched this plant unfold its leaves and grow taller day by day. I have no idea what this plant is. Remember what I have told you about my gardening skills. They are at zero!

The leaves are beautiful and lacy. The strength of the stem as it waves back and forth in the wind is strong. It is tall and willowy. I know it is not a weed and so I chose to let it grow. It is now growing buds, and if the weather allows, it will blossom soon and allow me to know its personality and heritage.

I guess I left the plant to grow and become strong and blossom because it reminds me of my grandchildren. It reminds me of our lives.

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When that baby is conceived and we know it is on the way, we wait with anticipation for the day it is born. We can hardly wait to find out if that baby is a boy or a girl. We can hardly wait to see what color his or her eyes are and what color hair this baby has.

The baby is born, and we watch for his or her personality to emerge. What makes this baby happy? What makes this baby sad? Does he or she look like mom, dad, grandpa or grandma? What will be their first words? The questions keep coming. We watch and marvel at their growth.

I would imagine that even though we are adults we made the same journey with our parents and grandparents waiting for our personalities to emerge.

Now it is a given that I couldn’t change this unknown plant as far as the type of blossoms it has or the texture of its leaves. However, I could have cut off some of its leaves. I could have sprayed it with chemicals. I could have plucked it out of the ground or I could have let Sambo chew on it. Now depending on what kind of plant it is, Sambo either would have mangled it or it would have mangled Sambo’s insides. Were that the case Sambo’s health and personality would have been affected.

But I took care of this plant so that nothing would happen to it. I watered it and protected it in its journey to growth. I did this because I want to see this beautiful plant grow to maturity. It will be beautiful in my eyes no matter what type of blossoms it has.

We do that in life with our children and grandchildren. We do that with ourselves. We water those children and plant seeds in their lives to help them get to maturity. We protect them from the Sambo’s of life so they aren’t mangled and injured. Our parents hopefully did that for us.

I am old, but hopefully I am not done blossoming. Sometimes we think our journey is over when we reach adulthood. Most of the time we no longer have someone watching us grow and encouraging us as we did when we were children. By the time we reach my age we have been sprayed with chemicals, plucked out of the ground and been chewed on a little bit or sometimes a lot. I have to believe that our journey is like my plant.

If our roots are strong, and we have been watered and watched and nurtured as we were growing we will keep blossoming. We will be able to withstand the chemicals and being plucked and chewed on. We will be able to stand tall.

I would hope that when we start to wilt after we have reached adulthood, that deep inside we could reach for the water and sustenance stored inside of us to withstand the onslaught of life.

I would hope that we would drop seeds and nurture those who come behind us. I would hope that we would bend with the breeze and encourage the little ones to grow strong so they can bend with the breeze.

I am anxious to see the blossoms on my unknown plant outside my window. It speaks to me of the blossoms inside of all of us that are unknown and waiting to unfold.

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at