The Cycle of Life

My thumbs are a beautiful shade of brown! Both of them. I can’t make a weed grow.  BUT I have succeeded in growing one thing. A few years ago … maybe five or six … I was given a lovely basket arrangement of plants. An African violet was among them. Everything else died. I tried. I really tried, but one by one they faded away. I put the little deep purpled jewel in my kitchen window sill where it continued to flourish.

Grandma raised African violets, among hundreds of other plants, inside and out. She taught me to NEVER get water on the leaves, as that would cause spotting and eventual leaf rot – or something like that.  She fed them with some kind of special African violet fertilizer, who knows what it was. All I know is they were gorgeous and bloomed all the time. She had lots of them. She had lots of everything. Once she broke off a long stick to prop up another plant she had just put in the ground. Would you believe the stick took root and lived longer than she did?

Meanwhile back on my window sill – the African violet continued to grow. Several years passed. I tried to remember to water it often ’cuz Grandma said the soil should never dry out.  Sometimes when I was in a hurry, I wasn’t real careful about where the water went and some leaves got lots of drips.  Wonder of wonders – they never turned white or brown or dead looking. They just kept on growing!  Must be a new breed of violets these days.  Every once in a while I would notice a leaf had dried up or was in the process of it and I would snip it off. But more often than not, there would be new leaves coming on. More than the ones that died.

A month or so ago, I noticed my plant had outgrown its pot, and it appeared to have become two plants. I asked one of my grandsons, Danny, to divide and replant them. He did. They looked a little droopy for about a week in their new pots, but after that they perked up and now I can see tiny new leaves on both plants. The “old” one is full of bloom.

Today as I stood observing them, I noticed on the older plant that one of the more mature leaves has turned brown and is definitely on the way out.  I haven’t had the heart to snip it off yet. There is still a little life there.

I see my family there in those violets – and yours. If you feed and water and follow directions to the best of your ability, even if you mess up at times, you will be successful. The day will come when there has to be a division.  The old homestead is just too small. Everything might look a little droopy for a while but as everyone gets used to the change and it becomes more natural, things will perk up.  Soon there will be new growth – new life comes.  And then there is the natural progression of life. One of the older leaves will begin to lose it’s color and start to  droop. It’s a long process but eventually the leaf just withers away and is gone.

This is happening at our house right now.  Our four children have all started homes of their own. We have 12 grandchildren and 2 and a half great grandchildren.  Some new growth, huh?  They make beautful blooms that bring so much joy to the heart.  My husband has been ill for several years now. His great tired heart is winding down and he will soon join his Creator, the Master Gardner and his cycle of life will be complete.  It won’t be long.

See you next time!

Shalom, Sharaka

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