When you speak to the plant you must tell it that happiness is optional, that it can’t expect to bloom all the time, that one of these days you’re going to leave or it’s going to die or you’ll knock it over on the way out the door and it won’t be able to stand up again. And you won’t even know the damage you’ve caused until you come home that night.
When you speak to the plant, you must tell it that love is like the sun, you can never get enough until you’ve had it. And then you’ve had it and you aren’t certain if you’re melting from too much light or too little love. You ask the plant if it can tell the difference between a heat lamp that’s ten feet away and a ten million degree flaming ball of plasma that’s ninety-three million miles away. It might want to tell you that it’s actually 92,960,000 miles away and it’s that forty-thousand miles that makes a difference but it won’t.
When you speak to the plant, you must tell it that you’ve never been able to keep one alive, that you’ve buried two but mostly you toss them out when they start to rot or dry, or some variation of improper care starts to make itself manifest.
When you speak to the plant, you can’t expect that oxygen will be enough, that any words will do. You can’t expect that it will grow legs and walk away when you share a story that causes root-shriveling agony. You can’t blame yourself for running out of words, for collecting large reserves of anger, for huddling in the far corner with a book and allowing the plant to suffer the wrath of your silence.
When you speak to the plant, you must remember where life started, that it was not in your arms, that you are not a caregiver, a life-sustainer. You are, have always been the steady, and your plant is just passing through.