April 17, 2018

I am not a gardener. I made a brief but ill-fated attempt at cultivating a succulent garden in third grade, but ever since, I’ve left the landscape maintenance to whoever I happened to be living with at the time, or in recent years, to whoever the landlord hires. The only reason my few houseplants survive is because I am a creature of habit, and therefore, can remember to drop ice cubes and sprinkles of water on them every two weeks. And maybe it’s because I’ve been spending more time at home, or maybe it’s because certain things just start to bother me at certain times, but the other day, I found myself climbing through the ivy and pulling out dozens of dead ferns. A few days later, I chopped the blackened branches off a shrub that had been struggling to sprout. New ferns grew up to replace the old ones within a matter of days, and sprigs of green are beginning to creep onto the shrub. There’s something to removing the dead things—in nature, as well as in our spirits—in order to make way for new life, and this is ultimately what I love about spring: I love to see how things can change, to be reminded that life can still find a way, but sometimes, it needs someone to help it along.

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