I thought I had a black thumb.

September 30, 2021

I thought I had a black thumb.

Dear Reader,

I used to think that I couldn’t keep plants alive. I still kind of believe that some days.

But what I’ve realized lately is that I’ve had skewed expectations for my plants.

I bought an echinacea plant a few months back. I brought it home and carefully following the instructions, I watered it, gave it just the right amount of sun exposure, and tended to it well (or so I thought). It died. I had failed.

Little did I know that echinaceas only bloom for a short period of time before they start looking like someone took a blowtorch to them.

I learned that they have a cycle where they bloom and then you can cut them back to get a second bloom out of them or just wait until next season.

All along I had expectations of keeping this flower beautiful indefinitely without realizing it isn’t supposed to bloom forever. I thought the death of the flower had meant I had failed. Once I learned that it was doing what it was supposed to do, the entire process became more beautiful. I can now appreciate each stage of growth and withering for what it is.

I think about our lives this way a lot. We have expectations that we’re meant to stay youthful forever. We avoid our natural cycle of aging as if it’s some terrible thing that should be avoided. But, how much more would we enjoy life if we embraced each stage of it for what it is?

Until next week,

Amber



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