Lessons From Nature – Survival Of The Fittest

I look at this plant daily – look being the principle word. I rarely water it, I never move it. How it is not a shrivelled brown stick I have no idea.

Is it a ‘succulent’ ? I recall buying it when it was just a 3cm high stem and really rather cute.

Last night as I relaxed on a huge beanbag in front of the woodburner, making suitably sympathetic noises at one flu-symptom-filled husband, I continued my read about the simple but deeply meaningful lives of Buddhist monks. Being someone who can multi-task, I also managed to keep half an eye on a reality tv programme to which those monks would never give a second thought … itv’s ‘Survival of The Fittest’ and the irony was not lost on me.

Did you know monks wear white underwear and under-robes to help keep their thoughts pure and their hearts fresh, and that they all have their heads shaved to dissuade vanity.

Those girls (and guys) on this latest itv reality show would think their world had ended if they each met with a set of clippers.

With empty cups littering the floorboards near me, I read about why monks clean. Daily. Even when everywhere is spotless. Can you imagine school children in England cleaning their classrooms? What a phenomenon that would be…

In one of the breaks, I took my dustpan and brush and began to sweep dead wysteria leaves from the patio – they’ve only been there since September – but I got so cold, I came inside (and decided you could finish it tomorrow? 🙄). I would so fail in my tasks and be expected to visit each one of the elders and apologise.

I have possibly sprinkled water on the little plant twice in two years when I’ve paused in the downstairs cloakroom, where it lives, long enough to consider its needs.

Look how it has grown, yet silently always reaching towards the light, the newest growth straining for some photosynthesis possibilities (you did concentrate in biology at least).

Astonishing how new ‘babies’ are evolving along its stems. This is one self-contained mother of small plants. The monks would be proud of it; striving for survival, utilising what little is to hand.

I suspect if I were to google its ancestry it comes from some bleak rocky mountainside in the Himalayas or some other inhospitable place, making a small cloakroom in the East of England a comparatively straightforward place to thrive.

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