I have a flower in my office, or at least I did. When I brought it in back in February, I was so proud of it. The small buds it had just sprouted had just began to grow, just began to bloom, and its stem had to have been at least a foot long. That little flower hadn’t had the easiest growth; it had been knocked over and spilt on the floor too many times to count. But here it was blooming anyway, a spark of bright green and fluorescent red against the sterile white walls of my office.
People would come in daily and smile when they saw my little flower behind my desk. With winter still in full swing, I imagine my little flower was the first spark of spring warmth they had seen in a while. When my flower bloomed, people smiled and laughed, and applauded my skill for being able to have such a beautiful flower in February. And when that bloom began to wilt, like all flowers do, people would come in concerned for my little plant; “does it need water? What can I do to help?” Raising my flower had become a community event, one I was proud to bring about.
But now it is March, and it has been awhile since the blooms on my flower have faded and crumbled away. Now the strong stalk leaves it boasted are starting to brown and whither, and bugs have begun to gather. I know I need to cut away all that remains of my flower; that is what I was instructed to do once the blooms go away. “It will bloom again,” I am told. “Another month and you’ll see blooms again. You just need to rid the plant of its current cycle so it can begin anew.” This is something I need to do, for the plant’s health, but I can’t seem to put my shears to the task.
When my little flower entered the office, I was proud of it, but now I am attached. A whole community looks after it now. People take turns giving it water, giving me advice, helping me raise my little flower back to its blooming prime. Slowly the advice and the hope of others has begun to trickle away, but my little flower’s satin leaves still stand, and with them so does my hope. Maybe if I don’t cut it, it will still grow. Maybe if I wait it out, she will be okay. I don’t want to start over from scratch. Part of me feels like that is failure, and I worked too hard for that.
I tried to cut off some of the browning leaves, just to see what would happen, but they seem to mock me from the trash bin every time I enter my office. Sturdy and tall, they stand as green as ever among the rubbish. “Too soon” they echo. “Too soon,” I can hear my little flower plead. I hope they take the trash out today, before my guilt overruns me.
I need to take a break. I need a breather. I need some time to look at my little flower, truly look at my little flower, and let go of what I had. All that is left of her is the memories she created; the spark of spring in winter. And now that spring is almost here, I need to give space for new memories to grow. I can’t hold onto what was until all that is left is browning crisps, and I need to let go of my desire, my selfishness, so that my little flower can be what she was again.
She sits behind my desk now, the dirt in her pot still as fragrant as it was the day I brought her in. Her leaves still stand stark and tall, but where her blooms once were are a withered stalk, slumped and browning against the desktop. My scissors sit beside her, and I watch them from time to time, hoping they’ll do my task for me while my back is turned.