The plant I bought in spring is sad and wilting and brown. I have tried everything. I changed its pot from a boring white china one to a lovely red metallic one from Harrods. I moved it from the coffee table to the mantlepiece. Nothing. I just don’t understand.
I recently moved with my family out of London and into Sussex. We are all very excited. And quite rightly, we are savouring the novelties and new experiences that surround us.
On the surface, it looks like a wonderful decision. But how much does this change of circumstances count for, I wonder?
For me, it feels like what lies underneath the warm glow in our new household is such a shift: ongoing and deep-reaching, which has manifested itself inside each of us in different ways. Long before we moved, we began to discover ways to encourage our roots to grow, and these roots began finding some tasty mud. Without this subtle lifechanging development, our move would have been little more than a holiday: an escape, a purchase of novel surroundings, with a feelgood factor as short-lived as “annual leave”.
A change of heart infuses a change of circumstances with deep relevance and meaning that would otherwise be akin to rearranging the sock drawer. That, I guess, is what makes our new home a special place for us: it’s the physical manifestation of some deep, invisible sprouting of the spirit.
If my plant is wilting, no amount of tinkering with the pot will help in the long term, for as long as the plant itself is left unattended to. But once it has rediscovered its strength, then careful choice of where to stand the beautiful creature will help it thrive, with pert and shiny succulence. Flowers might appreciate a sunny windowsill. Mushrooms are best kept in the cellar. To each their own.
For me, I increasingly prefer to ditch the pot entirely in favour of getting right in the musty earth, where the worms live.