I believe in miracles and if you would like proof of one, here it is: I have successfully kept a house plant alive for three years and five months. Yep. Hold your applause.

Not only have I kept Coral (that’s her name) alive, but as if by some divine intervention, this spring, the plant bloomed two perfect, delicate, bright coral flowers. It was supposed to do that, I realize, but the miracle is that it actually did so on my watch. I kept Coral alive and thriving. Flowering, even. 

Me. I did that.

Turns out watering the plant (but not too often) and turning it towards the light every now and again are effective tools in the preservation of a house plant, even if that house plant is an office plant, and especially if you weren’t in the office for long periods of time in the previous years, due to work-from- home protocols.

Despite that pandemic and its unrelenting attempts to ruin my joy, beautiful life bloomed around me. Miracles in real time. 

Coral was fully in bloom when she was gifted to me. Tiny orange flowers emerged from her vibrant green stems. Her plastic pot was, and still is, wrapped in orange paper. I loved her at first site. 

I put her in a polka-dot bowl atop my office cabinet, where she would get the best daylight. 

I am glad this spot works for her because her predecessor didn’t fare so well there (we don’t talk about Jeremy).

Despite some withered brown leaves that shriveled as the seasons changed, Coral has grown to modest green heights. Sure, photosynthesis should have doubled her size, but you don’t get to order your miracles; you just get to appreciate them. I’ll take what I can get. 

Sometimes, when nobody is around my office, I talk to Coral. When we work late and everyone else has gone home, Coral and I catch up. I can’t tell you what I tell her, but suffice it to say, we have a solid relationship based on trust. She never gossips though she hears all. She is discretion grounded in soil. My little oxygen boost makes my work world better. It’s that simple.

In celebration of Coral’s anniversary (yes, I remember it), I texted the Carpenter a photo of her as proof that I had broken my plant purgatory streak. 

“Coral lives,” I exclaimed. 

Instead of congratulations, he responded by suggesting the photo was a fake. It had to be, he insisted, as he heartlessly listed all the house plants that mysteriously met their untimely demise in my care, including that cactus that I am confident was genetically faulty. Stupid cactus. 

The Carpenter brought up the whole Jeremy situation, too. Low blow. He didn’t use the word “neglect,” but it was inferred.

For the record, I have two plants at home that are currently flourishing. Sure, I’ve brought them back from the brink of accidental drought more than once, but they survived and are stronger for it. Yep. I’m teaching them resiliency, one leaf at a time.

Soon, shorter days will be upon us. Coral will feel it. I will too. 

I wrote this to remind myself that hope grows when you tend to it. And that’s a beautiful thing. Maybe you need the reminder too. 

Tend to your hope. Bloom.

WriteOut of Her Mind