Wednesday, March 30, 2016

That Thing Called Resilience

Previously on: Unbent

It took me a full hour to absorb the carnage. 

The plants under my care lay buried beneath their overturned plastic containers. The earth that held their roots were scattered all over the vinyl floor. The plastic tray that I used as the flower pots' elevated platform (with flimsy pillars to support it) had fallen over, bringing everything to the ground, including the makeshift pond underneath it. The islets of kiyapos (water cabbages) were all gone; even the small cuttings have shrunk, its fleshy branches pulped and could no longer be replanted. 

The sheer devastation could have reduced me to tears, especially after being able to make the plants thrive with very little sunlight. Had the vile creatures dropped the cylinder aquarium or clawed the turtle out of its shell, I would certainly cease bringing life unto the balcony and let the remaining plants die. 

The rats responsible for this mess have tested my patience long enough.

But instead of moping, I used the downtime at the side job to pick up the pots. I returned the soil and replanted the herbs with my bare hands. The pillars supporting the plastic tray have been reinforced, making sure it won't topple over even when the rats return and trash that corner all over again. Finally, a metal trap has been set, so that whatever critter finds itself caged would pay dearly for the destruction it did.

There is no other way but to rebuild.

*I can no longer count the years since the time I went back to pursue my hobby. Lots of plants have died, and only very few survived from the first cuttings. Over time, I've resigned to the fact that most of the herbs I would try to grow will die after a few years. Some plants would not even last a month. 

Maybe I don't have a green thumb like I thought. 

But growing herbs is not all about picking the leaves and using them to spice our food. I don't even know how to trim these plants. What I get from this pursuit is therapy; the thought that you can make some plants thrive when others won't is already a source of pride, it encourages you to acquire more herbs, with the hope that they would grow. But still, no matter what effort you give, some plants will not make it, and after seeing so many of them decay, get thrown away, and being replaced by new sprouts, you will learn that setbacks like a rat rampage can always happen. 

It is how you put back the pieces again, and letting the plants grow once more is what makes gardening a hobby worth pursuing.   

1 comment:

Victor Saudad said...

consider making a soil compost. most of the time, the soil is neglected of the much needed nutrients and minerals so the plants don't grow that well.

Don't lose hope.