We have this plant. We don’t know what kind it is. At first we thought it was in the aloe family, but people have told us it’s not. Then, we thought maybe it was an agave. But, honestly, we don’t really know. The story of this mystery plant is a story of life. The cycles and unexpected beauty and magnificence that are revealed.
This plant was given to us as a gift. I planted it in an area of the garden that was insignificant at the time. I also planted some aloe vera plants nearby. As I watched the plant grow, I was amazed by its beauty. And its size. The way that its leaves seem solid and floating at the same time.
Eventually, we dug a shallow pond next to it. At first, it seemed like a strange place, the two of them, next to each other. But as time has passed, I’ve become accustomed to it. Then, in the spring, we saw the beginnings of a stalk growing out of the center of the plant. We watched with awe as it grew and grew and grew. We had heard that these plants will grow the stalk and then die, like an agave does. But, we hadn’t ever seen it happen. In all the years we’ve had the plant, it just grew new leaves.
Over a period of weeks, it went from a tiny bud in the center of the plant to a stalk 17 feet high and 3 inches around.
Then….it began to bloom. Wow, what an incredible sight. These delicate yellow flowers slowly opening up the stalk. Beginning at the edge closest to the plant base and gradually working its way up the spine of the stalk, one section at a time, blooming yellow flowers.
Many weeks passed as the stalk would bloom in one section, then die back and bloom in another section. I thought the show was over when it flowered. So, I stopped watching the plant as closely as the year began to speed up and I became unusually busy with my life.
Slowly, the leaves began to wither and yellow. Now they look as though they are almost dead. Then, to my surprise, Ofer showed me a tiny succulent in his hand. He had picked it off of the stalk of this gorgeous plant. I went and saw that when I thought the show had ended, it was preparing a final hurrah!
Each of the flowers had turned into tiny plants. This plant, though dying, was also giving birth. As each month passed, the plant was putting all of its energy into creating the next generation in abundance.
I’m fascinated by the reflections of life this plant gives me. The full maturity of adulthood that is the apex of a life cycle culminates in the creation of new life. As women, we are at our most beautiful when we are full of the new life we are creating. Often, it is said, that the woman carrying a baby is glowing. I know from experience that the glow of life is fully manifest in both parents at the time of birthing the new baby.
And, then, even as we stand tall within ourselves, extending the stalk of our own accomplishments, our children are growing as well. The growth of our children reflects the stability of the stalk they grow from. Eventually, I imagine, the baby plants will fall from their mother stalk and take root beneath the leaves of the dying plant. I’ll have to wait and see if that is, indeed, the route they will take to future success.