I talk to the plants at work. Each morning I greet the short plant that I call Shorty. He’s the first one I see. Sometimes I forget, and when I do, something feels off, which causes me to go back around from my desk to set my eyes upon him. There was a little while there when I would let him dry out until he looked like wilted spinach, but it wasn’t to be cruel. It’s that it was easier to water him that way, to be sure the water penetrated him well. And it was lovely to watch him go from a low droop to the perkiest, happiest, Shorty that he is. I stopped doing that though and thought it best to keep him looking his best in case a visitor came during one of his droopy moments. They wouldn’t understand. Instead, shorty would look neglected.

Today when I was watering the rest of the plants, I was admiring and speaking to the tall palm. He doesn’t have a name–just Tall Palm. His new leaves had unwrapped so beautifully. I took my hand after watering him and felt his new leaf, seeing how perfectly it had unwrapped from a tight frond, feeling the smoothness–the cool skin and veins. The light was shining through the window and I could see the silhouette of my fingers. I was seized by the moment. I set the watering can down, grabbed my phone, and snapped a photo. It was a simple wonderful moment where the palm and I connected on a different level. It was as though I was seeing the palm and myself for the first time; life beating through our veins, and it was lovely.

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