Each day we are given the gift of a fresh start as a new day emerges. But with the new year, we are given an even greater chance to truly renew ourselves. Unlike the days of monotony in which we perpetuate our already existent way of living, when we begin a new year we experience a sort of wake up call in which we remember that we must continue to grow throughout our lifetime.
This new year I was reminded of the fragility and determination that comes with growth when I successfully coaxed to life the seed of a silk cotton tree I had pocketed from a botanical garden a while back (I know, you’re not supposed to do that. But I just love plants!). Of course, since my thumb has never been the greenest, I doubted that it would ever actually grow under my supervision; I couldn’t even find any information on growing your own silk-cotton tree, even though you can find hundreds of websites instructing the right conditions for planting a tomato plant.
Nonetheless, about a month ago, I decided to plant the seed (in fact, the reason why I decided to go through with it anyway was partially due to another failed attempt at keeping a plant alive; I now had an empty pot for a new botanical experiment:)). I just thought, what the heck, at least I can say I tried.
But then, only two or three weeks ago, I noticed a small, yellowish sprout had broken free from the soil, and was reaching out to the sun. Soon, two perfectly formed leaves emerged, and the sprout became a bright, youthful green. You don’t understand how excited I got when I realized I’d actually sewn the seed of the miraculous silk-cotton tree! One day, when it grows into the big tree it’s destined to become, I thought, I can start making my very own silk-cotton-stuffed pillows! I know, I’m a weird one, but nonetheless this occurrence was quite magical for me, being the clumsy nature-lover I am.
On a less giddy note, this sprout came into being just at the cusp of the new year, and has become a sort of symbol for me, reminding me of the need to break through the dark clutter and reach toward the sun. Wow, I just reverted from giddiness to cheesiness. But really, I have so much that I want to do in my life, and now that I’m in college, I feel that I’m truly beginning my journey on the path to my future. I just need to figure out what exactly that future will be.
More broadly speaking, as the seasons begin to change and the leaves turn vivid green once more– note that I’m using the seasons as a mark of passing time even as I live in Hawaii where the seasons hardly change at all– we must all remember the immense nurturing and care that it takes to make such a beautiful plant grow, just as we must all strive to focus on ourselves as well as others in our own personal growth. Only when we improve ourselves can we hope to improve the lives of others.
And so I will end with a beautiful quote from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.
–Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Life is a growing process; every day shapes us, making us a slightly newer person with every moment. And with the new year, this maturation becomes more apparent. Remember to nurture your personal growth, and in turn help those around you to grow as well.
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This post was inspired by this week’s photo challenge: Growth