This Saturday morning found me soaking the heat from the pellet stove and gazing in wonderment at the geranium in my window. Outside, the waking sun filtered golden light through the boughs of the hemlocks laced with yesterday’s snow. My mind was adrift with thoughts about those things that can worry us. Specifically, the state of the world and whether the inspiration I found watching seven compassionate and intelligent individuals debate amicably on a stage in my home state of NH could inspire a new feeling of hope in those who had lost it.
Sometimes frustration and despair overwhelm. Hope is lost in those shadows of darkness that seems to grow beyond our control. Yet, there is always light to be found, even in the small, seemingly hidden places. There is always the ever-present force of life seeking its source. I began to look with focus at the houseplant I had brought in from the summer. Noticing, as I pulled my thoughts into the moment, how its spring green limbs were growing with gusto even though there were no buds to be found on their tips. This life seeking the light outside my window, growing inside my home in winter because I had brought it inside.
There is a soft peace to houseplants. Roots contained in potted soil can thrive if the human hand tends to them with compassion. A gentle caress and a kind word now and then can make them flourish, just as we flourish with love. There is hope to be found in the way they accept the containment, asking only to be watered and given a space to receive the filtered sunlight. In turn, they offer beauty while their cells silently filter the air we breathe.
Sometimes, when I think of the devastation humanity is causing across the land, I think of my houseplants. I think of the air they filter and oxygenate that will enter my lungs and gratitude for their presence fills my heart. I marvel at how even in the depths of winter, I can behold green life growing as it gives back and receives only what it needs in return. I think about how this is, in essence, life. At its most basic components, and yet, there is nothing more beautiful or wondrous. Life existing in the quiet grace of peace.