They say it’s important to treasure the moment, to savor the simple pleasures in life, and to practice gratitude. I’ve tried my hand at it for a while now, starting off by taking photos of situations and people that filled me with joy and, as a ritual, scrolling through them from time to time. And though it always made me smile it’s only today that I discovered my ultimate gratitude trick: short videos.
A while back I wrote a post on my garden. My outer and my inner one. It had taken me years, decades actually, to realize that the state of my plants reflected my own emotional state. If my plants were in good shape, so was I. If they were miserable, so was I. It all came down to taking care of them and of myself. And I usually did both or neither. So I started using my outer garden as my personal alarm unit for my inner garden – and recently checked on it.
This morning I woke up all grumpy. Well, downright depressed, actually. I could feel this sickening knot in my gut again. So I resorted to my new coping mechanism and decided to check on my terrace plants. If you’ve read “How is your inner garden?” you’ll know what that means: I was basically checking on myself. This morning a surprise awaited, though.
I never had a green thumb. In fact, I never had a garden. Just houseplants. And few of them, for that matter. The maximum number of plants I ever managed to keep alive for more than a face-saving period of time, until recently, was five: a banana tree, a schefflera, a basil plant, a ficus and an orange tree, god bless them. Until last year that was.
Two years ago I saw my dad – for the first time in 29 years. Our paths had separated when I was nine years old and my parents got a divorce. It was a sudden end to the life I had known. Before I realized my dad was gone. My mom, my siblings and I moved away to live with our new stepfather. I never heard from my dad again. It took me 29 years to find the courage to write to him.