This year has been filled with highs and lows; the pandemic has changed our lives and might continue to do so for quite a while. We have all handled it a little differently; some with daily walks, others with baking bread or endless Tik Tok scrolling. I admit to having done all three. Interestingly, my most valuable coping strategy was growing plants.
At the beginning of the fall semester, I threw a few avocado pits in a Ziploc bag with some damp paper towel (which was the best method according to Google) and forgot about them. When I finally remembered to check on them, they had grown long roots and were overdue to be planted. I had been watching them grow steadily over the course of a few months when I happened upon an article that discussed the benefit of trimming avocado plants in half to promote a sturdier stem. Since I had two growing, I decided to try it out. At first, I had little hope for the one that I had cut; it seemed to have stopped growing completely. In contrast, the one that I hadn’t touched appeared to be prospering and had almost doubled in size.
Within the last month, however, I began to notice a change. The trimmed plant’s stem has widened and sprouted several branches. The other has grown too tall for its’ own good, with large leaves that are too heavy for its’ skinny trunk.
It has reminded me of what I have seen in the people around me within the last year; they have all dealt with challenges that they were unprepared for, yet a year later they are coping and even flourishing in their new circumstances. Sometimes it may feel as though we have been cut in half and that we will never survive the obstacles that are presented to us, but with a little time you might find that you’ve grown even stronger than before.