Memories in My Roots

Copy of Memories in My Roots

By the glass patio doors, on the red oak kitchen floor, there lies a temperamental plant. 

It couldn’t be much more than three years ago when we bought it. I still remember the day we brought it home from the store. With it, we picked out a little succulent—one that I adored—but that has since withered and died because of trauma from an orange.

I don’t know what it is, but ever since its companion departed from this life, my plant has been unstable. Its emotions constantly shift from one day to the next. It’s almost as if the absence of its partner left a rift in its tiny plant heart. 

They used to bask in the sunlight day after day, there on the floor, just one foot away from each other. They must have shared conversations—secrets and lore—of their caretakers, the gentle giants indoors. Or perhaps they were blissfully unaware, thoughts misguided, that their persisting existence was thanks to the sustenance we provided. 

I wasn’t privy to the incident on that fateful day, the one where the orange got away. I received no confession, no apology, no alert that my beautiful echeveria plant had been hurt. The vibrant green succulent I once cared for laid broken and defeated on the textured oak floor. I knew it was an accident, but still, I grieved. And as heartbroken as I was, I had to pick up the pieces.

Since my small and mighty warrior had been untouchable before, I thought this was a setback and nothing more. Little did I know that its vitality was spent, and that it would never recover again. 

Day in and day out, my lonely little plant—the one in the kitchen by the patio doors—slumped with sadness, recalling the events from before. I tried my best to comfort it, to ease its burden. But it seemed like the more I watered it, the more its tears poured. 

I knew it was disheartened, and I earnestly hoped it would recover. I considered the amount of light, and likewise the amount of water. Yet, no matter if its soil was wet or dry, my plant didn’t seem to have the motivation to try. 

Then, slowly but surely, its leaves started to perk up. The weight on its shoulders began to lighten and dissipate, as dew on the grass evaporates in the morning sun. The memories never faded; they are buried in its roots. But with each new dawn, my plant resolved to live on. 

So, there in the kitchen, sits my resilient little plant. Occasionally there are days when the sunlight’s streaming in and my leafy little love stretches its leaves high toward the sky, as if it’s paying tribute to the past while simultaneously anticipating the future. 

And although it was doing well on its own, it’s no longer alone. It has another companion by its side, hopeful and new. So perhaps my plant could teach it a thing or two. 

They keep each other company, the two kindred souls. 

Safe and sound—far away from the fruit bowl.

LAUREN RUSSELL is an English & Professional Writing student passionate about literature and creative writing. She loves to write poems and short stories in her free time and explores different modes of expression. When she isn’t writing, she’s relaxing with some music or playing the piano. 

You can learn more on her Instagram