So I've had this beautiful house plant since I was about 17 years old, and it is one of my most cherished belongings. It is an english ivy that curls and crawls and stretches out in all sorts of directions. My ivy lives in a glass mason jar with a handle. I hope that it is a happy plant.
I love this plant so much that when I moved away to live in England for two years, I left my ivy in my grandmother's care. She is a plant whisperer. Once she took me on a tour of all her plants, one of which was a family plant that had been passed down for three whole generations! Can you even imagine that?! I think it is beautiful how much care my grandmother takes to nourish her plants.
Last week when I saw her again she brought along my english ivy in it's beautiful glass jar. Today when I went to water my ivy I paused to look at it for a moment and enjoy the fact that it fills my house again. If you look into the dirt you can see how all of the roots spread down through the soil; you can see little flecks of darker and lighter soil like a mosaic. If you look at all of the leaves you can see which ones connect to which branches; you can see that the small branches have small leaves; you can see that there are a sprinkling of leaves with soft brown edges; you can see that one of the branches has no leaves for the first 10 centimeters. If you look at the glass jar you can see the words "TODAY IS A GOOD DAY".
When I first obtained this jar I would feel a mixture of emotions when I considered the phrase, "TODAY IS A GOOD DAY". If I saw my jar and I was happy, then I would feel inspired and grateful—a reminder that I live in a beautiful world, surrounded by kind people. If I saw my jar and I was upset or anxious, then I would feel overwhelmed and hopeless—how can I be good enough and happy enough to deserve this jar?
It felt like sometimes this jar was a gift and sometimes this jar was the ultimate curse. But then something changed... my perspective! Have you ever had one of those moments? Where something changes and all of a sudden you are looking at the world in an entirely different way? Well, I used to associate the word "good" with heaps of expectations; so much so that "good" never quite felt good enough. Then I realized: things have the potential to be good when I accept them for what they are—when I make space for them in my world rather than trying to shape and distort them.
Please don't get me wrong, that doesn't mean I feel happy all of the time and it also doesn't mean that I feel good all of the time. But it does mean that in those moments when I feel... well anything really, I don't hide or run away or push my feelings down. They exist and they have a right to be experienced. So I embrace them and take a moment or two or twenty.
One day I was walking home from my volunteering, I remember I was walking down the hill just outside my house and I felt indescribably sad all of a sudden. Looking back, I still don't know the cause. But that didn't matter at the time... I took the last few steps towards my home, opened the door, stepped inside, leaned my head against the wall and cried. It felt good. I think that it was good because that sadness needed to exist.
After all of those moments of enlightnemnt, I see my ivy and its jar differently. When I look at my plant (or play with it as I quite often do... I mean, have you ever tickled your nose with a plant? It is hilarious.) I see that phrase, "TODAY IS A GOOD DAY", and it serves as a perfect reminder that I have the ability to make space for my emotions and create something good.
If you like the idea of making space for your emotions and you want to practice, check out this section on DLTK's Sites:
- Bullet Journalling (a great way to explore your feelings)
All photos in this blog post are copyright Kaitlyn Guenther.
I am Kaitlyn, a 20 year old girl currently living in Birmingham, England. I am the K in DLTK and I've been working for the family website since I could hold a crayon. Aside from helping my parents on the site, I run after school clubs with primary students in England and find fun ways to teach them maths! I also enjoy my volunteer work with the elderly people in my community—going to care homes and sheltered accomodations to sing, serve tea, or just talk. In my spare time I love to read, journal, play volleyball, and explore the UK. You can view my other blog posts here or connect with me on Facebook or Instagram.