I’ve been absent here on the plant blog. Mostly because I’ve been in a period of readjustment. My 3 month sabbatical ended about a month ago and I’ve had to figure out the best way to still be me. To integrate my sabbatical learnings into my daily work. To figure out how to be the nurturing plant lady while nurturing the community in which I work.
There was a lot of fear on my end that I would wind up undoing all the good work I did with my plethora of plants once I went back to work. That I wouldn’t be able to focus on one more thing. That on top of being a parent, a partner, a friend, a family member, a community member, an employee that I wouldn’t have time to be the plant lady I had come to know and love over the past months.
Turns out that being that plant lady. Taking the time to tend to and nurture all these beautiful plants I’ve cultivated seems to be helping me with the other stuff. Caring for the plants gives me some much needed space, both mentally and physically. I take the time to care for them and in a way that’s become one of the ways I care for me. Taking time to breath. Taking time that is just my own for something that I love. On days I work from home I take a plant care and mindfulness break every day. On days I work out of the office I come home, put down my bag and then check on my plants while I check in with myself. And I breathe.
But as could easily be predicted I found that anywhere I spent significant time was a place I wanted to be around plants. I’ve spent the month back at work not only readjusting to the job but also transitioning from being a full time stay at home worker to working most of my week out of an office. It’s an experiment to see if I can maintain some of the healthy mindfulness I set in place more easily if I have separation of work and home life. Though I’ve become fond of just calling it separation of church and state.
So before I even moved in a monitor and keyboard. before I put up a picture of any loved ones. before I brought in a coffee mug of my own. Before almost anything I moved in a plant. Just a little one. A few weeks ago I picked up a big beautiful and unusual Sansevieria (also known as Snake Plant and Mother-In-Law’s Tongue.) It was too big for it’s part. It had sprouted pups and those pups had grown into fully formed plants. They’d grown so much that I divided the plant into three separate pots. Since the only place in my home I can have snake plants is my bedroom since the cats can’t go in there I decided that at least one of them should make its way to the new office.
Sansevieria, aside from being absolutely beautiful and also completely toxic to cats and dogs, is one of the easiest plants to grow and hardest plants to kill. You can lock it in a dry dark room and not open the door for 6 months and when you peek back in on it, it’ll probably be happy as can be. I’ve heard it said more times than I can count that the only way to kill it is to care for it. You can water it a few times a year and it still seems to thrive. Plus create more oxygen than most other houseplants so it seems an all around win.
At the moment it’s the only plant on my desk. It stands tall and proud between my monitor and my jar of protein bars and gum. I think it might be a little lonely. But not for long.