I recently tossed some lettuce seeds into an old Chinese takeout container full of water in the hopes of starting my own little desktop garden. I left for DC over the weekend and when I returned, last week’s wanton soup cup was now freckled with tangled clusters of seedlings. As I looked at how far they had grown in only a few short days, I couldn’t help but think about how amazing they were for sprouting to life with only some water, sun, and soil to live in.
Plants are incredible living things that affect every aspect of our lives. They’re something we take advantage of every day, regardless of the significance of their impact. The desks we sit at every day are made of the trunks of once great trees. The bagel we grabbed for breakfast on the way out the door started off in fields of golden wheat. Heck, plants are the only reason we are able to live on this planet because they produce oxygen that we all need to survive.
Over the years, I’ve found that plants are an integral part of all my travel experiences in ways beyond their functions as furniture or a steamed side dish. Plants tell stories – stories of beauty, stories of survival, and stories of life itself.
I’ve always loved planting my own plants and watching them grow, and I think a large part of that is the overwhelming feeling of hope I derive from doing so. A favorite quote of mine by Audrey Hepburn perfectly describes that feeling of hope:
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” -Audrey Hepburn
To plant a garden is to have the hope that one day, you will reap the benefits from your hard work, much like how you possess the hope that there will be a little more green in your garden when you wake up tomorrow morning. Plants give me optimism for the future, and my future is green.