My Green Soul

Developing a Green Soul

I deeply believe that deep down in me somewhere, lives a gardener with a green thumb. Many things might account for this belief one of them being the fact that I was brought up under the shadow of a very green thumb; my mum grew everything from Cauliflower to Okra and we ate most of our veggies from her little garden. Of course this is Africa we are talking about and almost everyone’s mother (or Grandmother) had a little farm/garden.

That leads me to the second reason; I am African. I should at least know how to plant corn. Right? Wrong. Though I had a farm of about 6 ridges in which I planted corn and groundnuts when I was about 8 years old. But I digress. The question is why I thought I might have green fingers. Sure I love flowers and plants in general, but does that make one a gardener? Apparently not.

The Experiment

Nevertheless, I have entertained this head trip that I might be a green soul, if there is such a term. The first plant I tried my hands on when I came to Malaysia was the Lucky Bamboo. I have always loved that plant; the way it twists and turns and combines the hardness and solidness of the stalk with the softer more flimsy (yet substantial) elegance of the leaves – kind or like a marriage.

Anyway, after three months the plant seemed to flourish under my inexpert care which consisted primarily of dumping water in the container every other day or so. Encouraged, I ventured into the vast unknown and bought more plants; two Bachelors Buttons, an Evergreen (which we knew as a Christmas tree, growing up) and another plant which name I cannot quite remember.

Not-so-Lucky Bamboo

The first two days, I almost lost the plant with the forgotten name. This was because I had forgotten to replant it so it just sat, miserably in my sitting room. When I noticed the sadly drooping leaves (actually my mum who was visiting at the time was the one who noticed), I was finally spurred to replant the whole lot of them. The Bachelors Buttons flowered once to let me know how they can look then refused to flower again, until this morning. The Lucky Bamboo however, has not been so lucky. It is dying. I think from lack of light – at least we learned photosynthesis in school. This is really sad because the Lucky Bamboo plant is said to be almost impossible to kill.

I guess more than the water dumping, this plant (like every other plant) needs the warmth of the sun to flourish. I suppose love might be the same way.

Love and Nurture

I am doing the Love Dares and it focuses mainly on unconditional love, that is loving the other person whether or not you are loved in return. I definitely subscribe to that because it is what Jesus showed us by going to the Cross. But it is an unnatural state.

If I were asked the colour of love, I guess I would say green. Green is the colour of life and what is life without love? Like every living thing, love needs constant care and nourishment. Loves thrives where its needs are being met, where it is being watered. But more than that, love does best in the warmth of appreciation and care. Love taken for granted does not do well.

Like a plant, you do not get to a point where you can say Alright. I have cared for you for so and so years, it is now time for me to relax. You need to keep nourishing. Remember to say ‘thank you, I appreciate you.’ Do not forget to also say ‘I love you.’ These are the things that keep love going. And just as plants respond to touch, so also does love. That personal touch, the devotion to doing what is best for the loved one, is what in my opinion, makes a soul green.

Despite the yellowing Lucky Bamboo (which by the way is not even a bamboo at all), I am not giving up. I sincerely believe that somewhere in my green soul, resides a green thumb.


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