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  • Writer's pictureRachael Chau


There’s a poem about a girl who overwatered her plants because she didn’t know when to stop giving. I’m here this week for a different kind of watering story.

Last year, my mom gave me a jasmine plant. It had been her mother’s favorite flower, and so it was one of hers, too. I was so excited to have my first big plant that flowered and needed tending to. (I’d only ever had succulents prior.) It grew and it bloomed multiple times. But then it got a little too big for my HVAC/plant shelf in my tiny New York City apartment bedroom, and I asked my mom what to do about it.

“Trim it,” she said. And because she is my mom and she knows so much more about gardening than I do and her jasmine plant was thriving, I did. It didn’t go well for me. My plant started dying, each stem withering into a gnarled, hay-colored, barren twig, until almost all of it seemed petrified. Months went by of it simply dropping dry, brittle leaves again and again. But I kept watering it every few days, for probably a longer period of time than that of the plant actually being green and growing. 

Still can't quite believe it :')

Lo and behold, I went to water my plants just the other day (now on an “every 2 days” cycle because my basil plant–grown from seed–is drinking greedily and looking wonderful these days), and on the only green stem left–which branches off from a petrified-looking one–I saw a new small white bud, preparing to open its petals and grace me with its familiar scent. 

I’m not quite sure what the moral of the story is here; maybe something about being patient and persistent and gently hopeful. In any case, that little bud brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me that even in the midst of all the things I worry myself about and all the things I can’t control and all the things I’m trying to be better at in my life, the universe will always give us reasons to smile and bask in wonder at the world.  

And so, here are some more things that have been making me pause in contentment and warmth the past couple weeks. They ask me to linger, and I am grateful for the moments I get to. This list is a bit Emily’s monologue in Our Town coded, which is to say, it aids in the appreciation of life. 

  • Getting treats for my guy just to see him enjoy them and feel loved

  • Experiencing new things and seeing new places together

  • Asking & receiving 

  • Getting up early

  • Sleeping in

  • Cleaning and tending to the spaces I inhabit often in my life currently 

  • Being silly and getting less embarrassed when I am

  • Cooking and sharing

  • Celebrating my friends and spending time with them 

  • Singing “The Climb” in a room full of pals and pals of pals and strangers

  • Saying yes

  • Saying no

  • Taping for dream roles and roles I didn’t know were dreamy for me til I read for them

  • Imagining possibilities

  • Wearing clothes that I feel good in, not necessarily because I look good in them

  • Rereading a book I loved in the hopes that it’ll help me open more books again

  • Full moons 

  • Moving forward

  • Staying still And last but not least, writing here on this blog! Thanks for reading, as ever. Til next next week :)

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