Lessons From a Succulent Plant

Dear Friends,

Greetings on this lovely, mildly-breezy last Sunday of 2020. Most of us have celebrated the different holidays with small, private gatherings that only included our social bubbles. In doing so, we have acted responsibly and this will hopefully allow us to celebrate more fully next year. Breathe deeply and treat yourself to some uplifting music or reading as you get ready to welcome a new year with a small circle of loved ones. These are exceptional times that encourage reflection and acceptance of what is.

2020 has been a very challenging year for the entire world. We have had to alter lifestyles we had taken for granted. In doing so, we have discovered that most of us are inherently equipped to share the best of ourselves when it is needed. Parents have become teachers, community volunteers have become leaders and our young people have become involved in the complex ways the world does or doesn’t work. In my tiny milieu, I have by accident become very knowledgeable in the world of succulent plants.

2016 was a personally demanding year for me. While I can’t recall exactly all the elements that made it so, I do remember that I couldn’t wait for it to be over. There were a few silver linings, of course. We attended the wedding of a cousin at the impressive Catholic Church in Santa Ana. I love churches and this one is a magnificent structure that deserves its reputation. After the reception, we were given a small succulent plant as a wedding favor. Their popularity was exploding and although my joy and expertise is in African Violets, I was determined not to let this succulent die.

Succulents’ low-care requirement fit in nicely with my schedule because the violets require more attention and my collection is always growing. I would occasionally monitor the succulent for evidence of “plant failure”. While it wasn’t dying, it also wasn’t thriving. I wanted this reminder of a great day to be a masterpiece of its species but until this year, I did not make time to learn how to cultivate them. Multiplying succulents is actually very simple. I now have three new ones in just a couple of weeks!

I am blessed to be able to reconnect with nature every minute of my day, not everyone is so fortunate. Nurturing these hardy plants has become a daily reminder to me of their ability to withstand the harshest conditions, including neglect, without giving up. They have become a symbol to me, the rare jewels that enhance and benefit our lives. They call to mind all the frontline workers and medical and scientific professionals who care for us for a living, and who feel rewarded when they can guide us to health. I thank them and ask all of us to observe the guidelines so we can make their jobs that much easier in 2021. 

My best wishes to all of you for health and joy in the New Year, Marietta

picture my own

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