Recently I purchased a tomato seedling from the Enviroment Council at school. Grown by the students from seed in a yoghurt pot, I brought it home determined to give it a good home. I haven’t always had the best of luck with plants due to a rather haphazard approach to their care. Lately, however, as I continue to try and become more intentional and pay more attention to what is around me, I have managed to sustain a house plant and a kitchen basil plant that has survived since last summer.
I carefully repotted the seedling after a couple of days and since that point it has flourished and increased massively in size. It lives next to the basil on a sunny window ledge in the kitchen which acts like a mini greenhouse. I get so much joy every day from noticing how much it has grown and touching the leaves to smell the home-grown tomatoey smell that reminds me of my childhood.
Success so far with the tomato plant has encouraged us to branch out and now the weather is getting warmer, we have a range of other little seedlings housed in a makeshift pallet garden at the side of the house. Lucy has taken on the role of chief waterer and we are enjoying watching our little garden grow.
There is something so lovely about watching little plants develop and thrive and it seems magical. Of course, however, for plants to grow they need their basic needs taken care of. They need water, light and sustenance and as I was studying my little tomato plant this week, I started to reflect on how these things are essentially what we need too.
It is easy to think as humans that we need more to thrive and survive. As parents there is a constant pressure to do more for our children, give them more opportunities and invest in their future. More, more more. What I am beginning to understand with more surety, however, is that what we each really need is actually very simple.
There is a lot we can learn from plants. Just like my little tomato plant, we all have basic needs that need to be addressed if we are going to have the energy to keep on growing. We need nutrition and hydration, a safe place to reside and protection from pests. We also need to enough light to help us grow. Taking some time to be outside every day and breathe in the light gives our bodies a physical boost. Focussing on the light that is around us instead of the darkness nurtures our soul and can propel us to grow further and higher into ourselves.