The Parable of the Succulents

I don't know much about gardening or succulents; I only know what I've read from other blogs and gardening forums. So this urban gardening project requires a lot of faith on my part—trusting things I don't fully (or maybe even remotely) understand. I probably check up on my plants more often than I should. Patience is a life skill I'm still working on.

It's funny how things we think we know for sure turn out to be completely wrong. Things we feel are thriving may actually have plateaued; those we think are dying are actually the ones who, in their struggle, are putting out roots that will anchor them for future growth.

Of all the succulent leaves I've left out to root, this was the one that looked like it had the least potential. Shriveled, shrunken and sad-looking next to its plump, green neighbors. Every day, I'd check all the other leaves for the roots that all the guides and garden gurus said would eventually emerge from the callouses. Every day, I've had to set aside my disappointment when I find nothing there. I hadn't even thought to check this sorry-looking one, so insignificant it seemed.

And yet, today, as I was moving it to make room for another, what should I find but these little white threads—enough to keep me hanging on.