At first, I don’t notice it. But then a celery green tip catches my eye. It pokes through a pot of grey cracked dirt, nudging up against the pot’s rim, reaching for sunlight and air. What a surprise! I wonder how it has enough strength for fresh growth during a winter’s dry dormancy and dim light. I was hopeful for this wee life, during a winter’s time that can feel void of color and newness.
My snake plant, with only six sword-like leaves, (five at the time of purchase) was a pandemic plant, purchased not out of a want, but out of my need for a growing thing, an offering of green to a grey landscape, of hope that life continues despite dormant winter days. But it is January, the first month of a new year when daylight is short, skies are colorless, the outside lifeless. Perhaps the short days, lack of color, and absence of movement give me reasons for my displeasure of the thirty-one days that drag when I reason we must pass through this dark tunnel of confinement to reach light and freedom.
And the single tip grew. Multiple leaf points were wrapped snuggly much like the layers of petals in a rosebud. I admire its strength, despite the lack of what it needs most. I, too, need sunlight and air plump with hydration.
I turn the pot to offer the new growth direct access to all light the outside can offer. And I wish the overcast to pass quickly. I note the seemingly everlasting grey skies hanging low, heavy enough to see just how much the white in brightness has mixed with the darkness of black. I anticipate the returning of my best days, of light to last hours until the sun is too tired to hang overhead and must slowly fall, to her sleep, but not before saying goodnight with the glow of twilight on the horizon, until the dawning of another day when a clear landscape is illuminated in crisp blue and the heavens are light and endless enough to see a crescent moon, of when life once again, springs from the white ground. In giving my new green growing thing a new perspective, I give myself one, too.
Though this time passes slowly outside, the weeks pass quickly inside as I measure time not by the dim hours and weeks in January, but by the growth of a snake plant when I can see brighter light, and color and longer days. There is hope for a newness, a vision of light among the unfolding of a cluster of new leaves that pop unannounced just when I need it most.