The other night I went over to check on the home of a friend, who no longer lives full time in the space. On occasion I stop by and, using the key with which I’ve been entrusted, give the place a quick once-over to ensure that everything is in order. I’m looking for leaky faucets and things like that. While I’m in the home, I also water a geranium plant.
I’ve been pulling sentry duty for awhile now, and everything has always been just fine. I’ve never encountered a problem—until the other evening.
When I opened the door, my eyes immediately went to a geranium plant, which sits on a bench by a window. It had grown tall, but it was lanky and spindly-looking—like a skeleton with leaves. And those leaves, pale green, were withering and drooping, and some had even turned a crispy brown. The geranium’s soil was desert dry.
The plant was dying.
Quenching the thirst
Admittedly, the last few times I stopped by I didn’t take time to water the geranium. I was in a rush, so I simply looked around, checked for leaks and such -- and then left.
However, during this visit my focus was on that dying plant. I immediately took it into the kitchen, where I watered it until the soil started to yield to the moisture. I gently removed the dead leaves from its stem.
It needs to be re-potted into a much larger flowerpot. And in order to thrive, the geranium’s going to need to be fertilized regularly—and pruning is definitely in order. But for now, as long as I keep it watered, it should survive until further intervention—which will require a trip to a garden center for supplies.
Listening to the lesson
What struck me most the other day is that even in the midst of dying, this geranium plant had a delicate, very pale pink blossom that stretched upward toward the sunlight that streams through the windows during the day. That blossom seemed to defy the geranium's certain fate--had I not stopped in to check on things and give it a long drink of water.
“There must be a lesson here,” I thought to myself, as I marveled at the little plant’s fortitude.
Or maybe it wasn't fortitude, but faith.
How on earth could that pathetic-looking, dying geranium find the strength to produce a beautiful blossom?
So often, nature speaks to us in ways that words can’t.
That little plant reminded me that even and especially during those times when I am thirsty and traveling through dry deserts, life continues to blossom as long as I continue to trust, move forward and look upward.
A side note: As an aromatherapist who has studied in the U.S. and in France, I love working with essential oil of geranium. It's often viewed as the quintessential women's oil. The essential oil is obtained by distilling the leaves of the geranium plant. Its particular chemical constituents make it wonderful for lifting the spirits. Scientific studies have proven that essential oil of geranium has a balancing effect on the adrenal cortex, which makes it very effective in treating stress. Its scent is apple-like, and somewhat rosy and spicy.