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When Things Get Leggy

by | Apr 23, 2021 | Journal, Wisdom Bites | 0 comments

I nursed a tiny stem of a tarragon plant all winter. Somehow it hunkered down and made it, despite being pressed up against the cold window for months. I wish I could say the same for my parsley plant.

The parsley needed a bath of sun for six hours a day. All I could provide in my British Columbia home was a bit of fractured light from a cloudy winter sky filtered by my windows and a prayer. The parsley got leggy, which is a gardener’s term for a plant that grows a terribly long and unstable stalk in order to reach the light it desperately needs.

Humans become leggy too (and no, I’m not talking about supermodels). We have needs. Some of them, such as food, water, and sunlight, are non negotiable; we die without them. But other needs are softer. Like laughter. Like companionship. Like being fully seen by another person. While our bodies won’t die without these, not having these softer needs leads to unstable stalks.

Catch this legginess early enough and it’s fairly easy to remedy. Catch it a bit later and it’s still workable, but takes a bit more attention. Ignore it completely and it meets my parsley’s fate — becoming a breeding ground for parasites that eat it from the inside out.

In my work as a wisdom guide, I have seen more examples of resilience than I can count. I have seen people strengthen unstable stalks, learn how to work with their goofy stems just the way they are, or simply let go to the intelligence of the parasites when it is time.

I call all of these experiences examples of magnificent resilience.

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