So, my hubby found a new hobby about 2 years ago, gardening. He showed lots of excitement about this journey while I watched quietly to see the results it would yield.
He started out with buying his flower pots, recycling some old buckets, mixing soil and preparing his seeds for planting. He went on to plant tomatoes, sweet bell peppers and scotch bonnet peppers (atarodo). I and my 7-year-old son followed the entire process with excitement, eager to see the fruit of daddy’s work and dedication.
I followed the process from planting the seeds in little polythene bags, seeing them sprout and then transplanting into bigger pots. There was also lots of watering, nurturing and pruning until they began to bear fruit. The tomato plant didn’t do so well, even though it gave us some tomato fruits. My hubby went on to replace them with flowers. But there was one of those plants that taught me some beautiful life lessons.
The sweet bell pepper sprouted and was doing fine. After a while we noticed it was not growing properly. The leaves were shrunken, and the flowers simply refused to become fruits. My hubby watched them for a while and decided to prune them.
I sometimes wonder what a plant is thinking during the pruning process. It simply watches as its leaves and all those things that show off its presence are slowly chopped away.
My hubby pruned his sweet bell pepper plants. They are planted in two flower pots. He also changed their place to another spot within the compound. He continued to water and nurture his plant while we waited to see fruits. I silently wondered if the sweet bell pepper would come alive again or simply die off.
Days passed, weeks passed and then our sweet bell pepper began to blossom again. The shrunken leaves gave way for beautiful greener and brighter leaves. It grew tall and flowers filled up the plant. This sudden change thrilled me. And then one morning during our regular routine checks, we see fruits. My son jumped with excitement and smiles filled up our faces. My son still derives great pleasure from counting the number of peppers he finds on the plant.
My hubby followed the same pruning process with the scotch bonnet peppers, the hibiscus and lantana plants. Today, I look back at our journey. I smile each time I look at the beautiful bright orange flowers of the lantana plant from my balcony. It is amazing to see that a plant that was once completely stripped of its leaves and left with only its stem and few branches could become this bright and beautiful.
My hubby took us on a journey and we have tasted the fruits of that journey. The sweet bell pepper fruits came out big and fresh adding some spice to our meals. We are still harvesting its fruits today, though not up to a large basket but enough to let us feel the joy of planting.
Sometimes in life, we go through situations and challenges that leave us hopeless, convincing us that nothing beautiful can come out of us. Our sweet bell pepper planting journey showed me otherwise. I saw that even when plants look like they are dying and may never blossom again, a lot of patience and nurturing while trying out new things will eventually change the story.
Children are like seeds planted. They have been given to us to care for and nurture. We as caretakers are meant to tend them till they come to the fullness of their potential. We will not watch them grow up from afar, we must be part of every little detail of their lives.
We must also put in the time and effort to tend them and clear off the weeds that may try to find their way into the soil of their hearts. Our excitement will only rise as we see them blossom in every season of their lives. And just like the sweet bell pepper plant, our greatest joy will be to see them bear fruits of success every day of their lives.
Pruning a plant teaches us a lot about discipline. The plant may not like it, but as we chop off old leaves, something better and beautiful is what we see. As parents, teaching children discipline and how important it is to have good character is hard. It takes a lot of determination.
But as you chop off bad behaviour, rudeness, disobedience and lying, we call forth the best in that child. This will give room for a morally sound and well-behaved child.
Yes, our sweet bell pepper plant taught us a lot about patience. It showed us the fulfilment that comes with planting a seed and seeing it grow to maturity with many fruits.
I learnt that when we plant, we reap the fruits of our labour and that beauty can still come forth from very hopeless situations.
I learnt that parenting takes a lot of patience and hard work.
I learnt that giving up is not an option. We must keep hope alive and persevere through various seasons of our lives.ot
I learnt that shrunken leaves and dying plants does not necessarily mean the end has come.
I also learnt that your time, presence and involvement in your children’s lives is one of the greatest investments you will ever make. It will yield good fruits.
I am so glad my hubby took us on this journey. It has been packed with lots of learning and life lessons.
Have you ever planted before? What was the journey like? What lessons did you learn? Did you feel some kind of fulfilment after seeing the fruits of your labour? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.