Random Conversations

When Plants Whisper

When Plants Whisper

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Listen carefully

I had the most beautiful experience growing peace lilies when I lived in Connecticut but did not bring one home to NYC until very recently. Having taken a pause in my dabbling with orchids, I wanted something less temperamental that would flower.

The farmers market supplied one in the perfect size, already with multiple flowers in various states of opening.

Learning its needs

In the past, watering was a simple one-time-a-week process. This plant, however, needs water every four days. I thought it was kidding when its leaves started to droop. It couldn’t possibly need more water that soon.

It didn’t readily bounce back from its depleted state once it was watered. Flowers and leaves were lost, which broke my heart.

And so I learned to be hypervigilant and to listen carefully. What I now understand is that its flowers start to ever so slightly dip their tips down when thirsty, no longer able to keep them upright. That is the moment to swoop in and take action, giving it a luxurious bath in the kitchen sink.

Now it has gifted me with a new bud, and I love it all the more.

Beyond plants

I’m writing about one specific plant, but I am also writing about all of us and how we relate to each other.

The hypervigilance that uncovered the specific needs of this plant reflects a level of nurturing and caring that has wide applicability. In human relationships, nurturing often appears initially, but can easily give way to rote ways of being.

When that happens, we stop seeing with fresh eyes and listening to understand. We react to what we knew in the past instead of what is being experienced in the present moment. And we can begin to wither. Relationships can be fractured or lost.

But we can reverse that by once again taking care.

Moving forward

What if we let our curiosity about a person, a place, a way of being lead us to a new understanding of what is or what might be? Could we then release preconceived notions and experience life around us as continuously unfolding into something beautiful and new?

I believe so. Listening is the first step.

Photo by the Author

Cathy Joseph is the author of the Random Conversations blog and is currently seeking representation for her book, The Art of Having a Delicious Conversation.

© 2022 Cathy Joseph. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “When Plants Whisper”

  1. Cathy, it is amazing how your blogs, with all your analogies and metaphors, trigger thoughts that create action! What a beautiful and lovely way you have with words! “Truly Listening” with thought and clarity is the only way to communicate, and communicating is essential to a meaningful life. It triggers me to get back to written time management; I’m good (no, I’m GREAT) at finishing a to-do list in preparation for a client, but not so good a spontaneous communicating. AhHhH, the perils of constantly developing curriculum.

    1. Thank you, Mary, for your very kind comment – I so appreciate it! I am not convinced that you are “not so good” at spontaneous communication. This seemed to be pretty spontaneous to me, or did you add it to your to-do list? Whichever, it made me happy to receive.

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