A few years ago, my dad received a little bamboo plant for his office. Now, if you knew him, you'd realize that this poor innocent plant was on a one-way trip to the trash. That's not to say he would intentionally kill it, but it's more that he's never been as house plant obsessed as my mom or I.
This isn't really the point of this post. To cut to the chase, I've been caring for this plant for awhile now—a year I think?—and it started out at this small, slightly wilted plant with small leaves. I read that you're supposed to give a bamboo plant plenty of sunlight and keep it under a few inches of water. I'd never heard that before, but I did it anyways. It's sat on my desk, next to me through meltdowns, new challenges, little victories, and days where I'm totally lost. I've watched it slowly grow, turn a darker green, and become stronger.
It wasn't until this last week that I fully realized just how much it had grown. All of a sudden I really looked at it.
Basically, this plant taught me that things take time. I know it's a cliched thought, but I wasn't really feeling the whole "take your time and things will come to you" vibe lately. I've been rushing, always looking ahead to the next thing; treating life like a series of items to check off a list. I want grow. I want to learn. I'm afraid I'm going to age and never reach my potential.
However, these are unnecessary fears. What I should be fearing (or at least be cautiously aware of) is running through life and never stopping to live in the present.
This plant, I'm sure, wants to grow as all plants do. But it takes it one day at a time, just like everything else. Every other living creature lives from one sunrise to the next. I think we as humans have that cognitive ability to plan, to seek the next thing. However, I'm sure it can be our downfall.
I've been planning on getting into meditation. (See there's that word again: planning.) I just need to do it. My goal is to take 5 minutes at night before bed and let myself be in the moment. I want to reflect on what has happened and let myself just be. My larger goal is to be able to live in today.
We rush through eating and run from one point to another. We're constantly going, going, going. But are we running to the end of a destination without enjoying the journey? I know I feel like that sometimes.
All things will come in good time, but it's up to use to enjoy those moments in between. Yes, vacation might be coming; perhaps a concert or a family visit or a trip. But what about those weeks leading up to it? Are we watching the beautiful sunrises and enjoying the changing seasons. Halloween is over but is it really time for Christmas? What about those weeks in between? Thanksgiving anyone?
My personal oath will now be to stop. Just stop. Take a breath. Feel my lungs expand and deflate. When I walk, feel the ground below me. Enjoy a friend's smile. Taste what I'm eating and take a moment to savor the work that went into the meal.
Live for today, not tomorrow and certainly not yesterday.