There was a rat infestation in the apartment building where I live, some months ago, and the nasty rodents ravaged my prized plants. These were cacti and succulents that I had acquired in a period of two-three years. I returned from a weeklong trip to discover pots overturned, and plants with chunks gnawed off them. Some have disappeared, completely devoured by the critters.
Discouragement set in. After all, I have spent a considerable amount of time and money on these plants. Not to mention several of them were difficult to obtain – the kind you’d see in pictures on Pinterest and Instagram, never imagining you’d be able to get your hands on them one day.
Since then I abandoned my plants to fate. I stopped watering them and only rarely would I visit my tiny balcony garden to check up on them. Of course, my neglect resulted in more casualties but somehow I stopped caring. Still, a few survived. Some, the rats left alone due to their vicious spines or unpalatability. Some, being true desert plants, endured the drought I unjustly imposed on them. While some, just happened to be in favorable spots when it rains.
The rat infestation has been fixed (or so I hope) and I keep telling myself, I should check on the plants, I should water them, I should discard the broken pots, the soil spilled, the empty husks, but I keep putting it off again and again and again.
But perhaps now is the time to confront the uncomfortable. In the same way, perhaps 2019 is the year to confront what agitates me: to ask the questions I dared not ask for fear of the answers I might find, to salvage the pieces of dreams that has persisted through the long years, and to put away what no longer works.
“…a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build”
– Ecclesiastes 3:2-3 NIV
Happy new year!