Last week I repotted my succulents. I bought them from Sprouts nearly two years ago; the dark aloe in copper colored pots played perfectly into my wedding color scheme of rose gold and green. I used them as centerpieces and kept them as living souvenirs of that day. I’m not a green thumb, and I don’t think they’ve thrived under my care, but they’re still alive.
After keeping them alive – somehow – for so long, I decided to stop hoping and start learning. I looked up how to repot them; it seemed like a logical first step since they’ve grown so much. Then I learned how often to water them. Having tabs about succulents open on my web browser is one thing, but it was another completely to walk into the garden section at Walmart and ask for the correct potting soil. It was yet another to grab an old kitchen spoon in lieu of a garden spade, buckle my baby boy in the patio swing, and start scooping a few handfuls of gravel out of the alley behind our house to act as drainage in the bottom of the pot.
They are happily repotted now. I just watered them for the first time (you’re supposed to wait about a week to let them adjust to the new soil.) I’m a little worried that they haven’t loved being transplanted, but hopefully they begin to adjust since they have more room to grow again.
Today we beginning our move up to camp for the summer. We don’t need to bring our entire household since the staff housing there is furnished, but clothing, books, baby toys, cold-weather and rain gear, hiking boots, and anything else we may need up there that we won’t need down here is going in today’s truck load. I’m feeling like my succulents must have, lined up beside the patio waiting to be transferred, at the mercy of gentle fingers and an old kitchen spoon. We’ll be living next to families I already know and love, but I haven’t known them long. I’ve gone to camp before and been in the mountains, but never this camp, never for a summer, never in this role. It seems like a natural role to assume, but a challenging one. It will require adjustment.
Somehow, despite all my nervous anticipation, fear of the unknown, the strangeness of the “camp-wife” role, I’m excited. I flourish in the outdoors, honestly. And I’m beginning to think I’ll adjust well, having more room to grow again.
I used to joke about being a “black thumb” – once a cactus under my care died for lack of water. But there is something about nurturing plants that feels very much like embodied hope. Perhaps even our doomed-to-decay bodies have the essence of life flowing in their very fingertips. Perhaps in a sin-broken world we can still thrive, grow, even nurture.