Do you need a bigger pot?

These days, I feel like I’m constantly talking or thinking about space. Holding space. Making space. Physical space. Figurative space. Mental space. Emotional space.

About four months ago, I hung one of my pothos plants on a ladder by the window:

Taken July 27th.

Because I’m a klutz, I inevitably walked into it and knocked the whole thing down. I lost a precious vine in the process, some of which I plopped into a jar of water to propagate. After sweeping away the spills of my accident, I re-erected the ladder, secured the pothos onto the rung, tidied up the soil, and wiped down the leaves.

A couple months after hanging, I noticed that the soil was no longer holding onto water. The leaves continued to remain sad and wilty even after a hearty watering, and I suspected that the roots needed to be shaken loose and have more room to grow.

I finally repotted and re-hung Sylvia (that’s what we’ll call her now) last week. Here she is immediately after repotting, still getting used to her bigger pot:

Taken a week ago.

I let her get used to her new space—let her stretch out and expand. Here she is today:

Sylvia today.

I’ve found gardening to be a haven for my thoughts and emotions, a reflection of ways in which I, myself, am trying to grow. It’s so easy to stick with the same because what’s familiar often feels comfortable. But is that familiarity constricting your roots? Do you need more room to grow? Do I?

All readiness aside

It’s raining in LA today. And by rain, I mean downpour.

I’d planned to run all my errands for the week today. I checked the weather—drizzle and rain all day. Immigrating from a country with a monsoon season, I never take “rain” in LA seriously. I grabbed a long coat, threw on some waterproof boots, and stepped out.

A light drizzle pranced on the top of my head—little taps of soft chills cooling me through the warmth of my coat. By the time I stepped out of a shop, it was pouring. I had no hood, no hat, no umbrella. I couldn’t help but laugh—almost maniacally, my cheeks puffing under my mask, catching large droplets from the sky.

Chunks of mud creeped in between the crevices of the soles of my boots. Determined to shake most of it off before I got to my building, I stomped in shallow puddles, and what initially seemed like a chore became a determined frolic in downpour with the city.

As rain soaked the wool of my coat, I was transported back to my childhood, with not a worry for runny makeup nor unkempt hair, nor for delicate papers that would smudge and curl, nor for a scolding from my mother. Rain has a way of doing that—washing away what we have, whether or not we hold tight to them. Today was a good day to let go.

when waters meet

the current carries a wave
a set of ripples clashing, colliding, building
a movement of memories
collected from time and space, life and death
a continuous flow,
no beginning, no end
a churning
resolved, only with
a final grasp at the shore
or the pull of another—
a dance of warm and cool,
serene, tempestuous,
unmistakable counterparts
of a larger ocean