Today’s post was inspired not only by my reflections on love, but by a book that I read last summer as part of the #BlackResilienceBookstaTour on Instagram, hosted by @PrettyLittleBookShelf .
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My task was to present a book that enhanced my reading. My choice? Lessons from Plants by Beronda L. Montgomery, who is a Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. The book used plant observations to show how human society might be improved. So I have used my own observations of my collection of tropical plants to show how love might be improved (see original post here).
Let me know what you think and what else you would add!
You have to want it. People can try to gift you plants or plant-bomb you to the end of time, the only way you will be truly interested is if you want to be. The same goes for love. You have to want it. If the desire is not there, attention will quickly be lost and quite soon there will be nothing left.
Dreaming of having beautiful plants or saying you want a lush indoor jungle is cute, but unless you are willing to do something and keep doing it, that haven will never manifest. Even if you buy a plant that is already beautiful, it will wither and die unless you SHOW that’s what you want through your actions. Love and relationships are no different.
This brings me to my next point. You can’t just love your plants when its convenient if you want them to flourish. You have to prioritise them, no matter what else is going on. They need regular, focused attention, or before you know it, pests and problems will take hold. Relationships are the same.
Plants have different needs. You might want to water them every day and put them in a dark corner to make YOU feel better, but if you love them, you will learn what THEY need and love them in that way. And you have to PAY ATTENTION. As they grow and get used to your home, their needs might change. People are just like plants in that respect.
There is a time for growth and a time for rest. Both are important for overall health. And during times of quiet and rest, care and focus still needs to be prioritised. Constant growth and drama takes up a lot of energy and will eventually become troublesome. The ability to relax and feel safe in silence is vital. Not all plants go dormant, but they all have seasons, just like us.
Plants are constantly communicating. They don’t keep secrets. It is important to focus on them and learn them and how they communicate their needs. It’s also important to interact with them. They are created to interact with creatures. They respond to positive energy and kind tones. Speak kindly. Learn them. Listen. Make an effort to understand. Then do the same with loved ones. Easy.
7. MAKE ROOM
You need to have physical space for them and be mindful that they will need more as they grow. You need time. You need mental space to learn about them. Your life has to change if you want to accommodate plants in your world. If you are not willing to make room or changes for plant or human connection, you are probably going to find yourself troubled in the not-too-distant future.
Actually, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help sometimes. In fact, there are times where it is necessary. The trick is to ask someone who has the expertise and doesn’t have any malice. If you need help with a tropical climbing plant, there’s probably no point in asking your hateful cousin who keeps killing their succulents. The same goes for navigating social connections.
It’s great to surround yourself in people who are also interested in cultivating healthy plants. You learn faster and benefit from all the positive energy. There are going to be plenty of miserable people who want to put you down for being happy with what you are happy with. Don’t waste time trying to convince them.
Seeing your plants flourish is reward in itself. You don’t always need to directly benefit from something and if you do love your plant, seeing them happy will be a reward in itself. It’s fine and healthy to allow to find that joy in your person’s achievements as well.
11. PROTECTION OF PEACE
Everything won’t be for you. People might try to ask you to take on their plant problems or take their pest-ridden plants in your home to save. You may not have capacity for the problem. The pests may spread to your own plants. You may simply not know the answers. You have state that simply. Protect your plants. Anyone who is real will understand.
12. LOVING OUT LOUD
People always talk about the things they love and are enthusiastic about. ALWAYS. Enjoy what you love out loud. It helps you learn to let people hold their own saltiness. You shouldn’t have to hide the things that bring you joy.
13. LETTING IT GO
If you know a plant isn’t for you, don’t buy it just because it’s trending or whatever. And don’t hang on to it if you realise you made a mistake. It’s cruel. There is always someone who loves the plant you aren’t crazy about. They deserve a carer that is crazy about them!
Most of these principles pretty much apply to every type of relationship, be it with yourself or others. Most of them come naturally when you love someone or something. Some we learn as we go along. And I guess that’s the last love lesson my plants have given me. There is always something to learn.
Let love grow.
*I started keeping plants in 2020. I have 70+ now, mostly tropical climbers. My plants inspire me every day with messages, which I post to my planty page on Instagram:
Lessons From Plants by Beronda L. Montgomery is out now. Available at all good retailers. Alternatively, get your copy by clicking here.