IMG_7456Each 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.

“Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.”

–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

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One thought on “Growth for the New Year

  1. I got a big grin on my face when I read, “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 am SO guilty of this kind of thinking! I love starting projects and then leaping five thousand steps into the future to predict where the project will take me. So, with that in mind I must congratulate you on getting your seed to sprout! As far as I can tell, the next logical step after the silk-cotton-stuffed pillows is a massive silk-cotton tree farm in space!

    Like

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