I came back from dance class and spent about 45 minutes leisurely watering and inspecting my tillandsias. There are quite a few of them and every single one of them is special in some way.
Looking back at the many years I spent trying in vain to keep houseplants and office plants, I’m feeling hugely grateful that God saw fit for me to finally get acquainted with this genus of plants.
I love greenery. I’m one of those people who was born and grew up in a city state where high-rise buildings and roads are everywhere, and where the things we call fields/parkland and rivers are what people from other countries would call garden patches/lawns and brooks/creeks/streams. But I am distinctly uncomfortable if I find myself unable to get in contact with something green and natural at least three or four times a day. Lack of greenery and open space makes me feel panicky and stressed, and my favourite places include the national Botanical Gardens.
So it probably isn’t a surprise that I’ve always wanted to incorporate plants into my home… but every single soil-grown plant I ever bought has died on me. Even the so-called “unkillable” varieties have met sad ends—cacti, succulents, money plant. Some from over-watering, some from too little water, some from unknown reasons.
But the tillandsias! They are flourishing, putting out roots (it’s a sign that they are acclimatising well and feel secure and stable enough to want to anchor themselves), colouring up, growing in girth and foliage, and many of the faster growers among them have flowered and produced pups. It’s amazing to me that I all have to do is ensure they get plenty of sunlight, wind and water. I suppose it helps that I talk to them, talk to God about them, talk to God in their presence, and have also gone as far as commanded them in Jesus’ name to live and not die…
I feel so intensely grateful that my Father has provided me with a way to enjoy the quirkier side of His creativity (tillandsias are some of the most interesting-looking critters) which is simultaneously a way to exercise my instinctive need and desire to be a practising steward of at least a small part of His creation. Being allowed to take care of these little plants puts something in my heart at rest; it is as though a part of my soul is being satisfied at last.
That they are rewarding my efforts with clear signs of growth is pure joy.