The Story Begins
What happens when we have dreams deep in our hearts but somehow feel stuck or unable to realise them?
Have you ever lived in survival mode; giving everything you had just to put food on the table, keep a roof over your head or stay on top of bills but feel stuck? Do you sometimes think that there's so much to live for yet afraid to make changes? Have you ever been told that the simple and safest route to fulfilment is not taking risks? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, then this real-life story will shed a bit of light on your dilemma.
One summer's day, my little boy brought home a potted tomato plant from school. They'd been learning about plants, from seeds to fruition. My son had planted a tomato seed into a pot, watered it and had been rewarded with germination. He had one request as per teacher's guidance; move the plant into a bigger one, so it would grow and produce tomatoes. "Not a big deal," I thought before promising to buy a bigger pot and compost. Somehow, the mundane tasks of everyday living got in the way. There was a Monday to Friday, 9-5pm job to commute to.
Although I could have gone to the hardware shop at night time; other daily and weekend routines at home also made it impossible to put my promise into action. Despite this seemingly uncaring attitude, the plant had been placed by the kitchen window so it would catch the sun's rays from time to time. It was also a convenient location, close to the water tap. Indeed, the plant continued to grow. Leaves flourished, lush and green they were. The stem looked healthy too as it bulked into thickness. What could go wrong? Evidently, a bumper harvest lay in store.
We continued to do the bare minimum, what a good plant we had! As time progressed, I got a slight hint that the plant was no longer growing as fast as it used to. The plant had not been watered on one too many occasions and in a bid to put right a few wrongs, the hydration process resumed. Still, repotting was not on the agenda. It was a dependable kind of plant which meant that other pressing issues were often prioritised. As time progressed, the plant's evergreen leaves changed to a yellowish colour as they started to lose their vitality. That finally made me jump into action. The withering signs could only mean one thing; the situation had deteriorated to a CODE RED emergency! I rushed to the hardware shop as I vowed to give that plant the best treatment I could.
Purchased a big pot and made sure to buy the most expensive brand of compost. I remember going through what they had in stock and willing to pay more for the best, whatever it took to nourish the sick plant back to life. With much eagerness and resolve to save the plant, I transferred it into a brand-new pot into nutrient-laden compost before watering and placing it in what looked like a premium spot outside. Not too much direct sunlight and not too much shade. Also ensured that the plant's stem was supported to cater for its eventual growth as I pledged to water and keep a constant eye on it. I hoped for the best. Wasn't expecting it to suddenly improve, previous re-planting experience had taught me that it would probably deteriorate a bit while adjusting to the new environment. Days weaved into each other as I waited to see the plant's revival.
The plant died.
Not the kind of story that brings a warm cheer to your heart I'm afraid. It didn't even take long before weeds started thriving where the plant should have. What happened to the promising plant, a plant so full of life with great potential to produce abundant tomatoes? Where did I go wrong? Could it be bad timing as far as repotting was concerned? Was there a fault in the process or maybe repotting method? Filled with regret, I asked myself these and myriad other questions. I felt sorry for my little son who also had high hopes for the plant. As I tried to learn from this somewhat tragic end, I realised that answers to some of the questions I'd asked paved the way for life lessons.
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