The Future Is Unpredictable, Yet My Houseplants Rejoice | Sojourners

The Future Is Unpredictable, Yet My Houseplants Rejoice

What my grandmother's pots of rue and aloe are teaching me during the pandemic.

MY GRANDMOTHER CAME to me in a dream. It was the first day of the COVID-19 pandemic and I knew I would not be able to visit her. My daughter had just come down with pneumonia; I did not want to put my grandmother at risk. When she came to me in my dream, through the front window, covered in a thin curtain, I could see her shadow as she walked onto my porch. As I neared the door, through the window I could see that she did not knock but instead walked over to the flowers on my porch. They were a gift from her to me. She touched each one and leaned in close as if in conversation with them. She never turned to knock on my door. I woke up.

I called my grandmother to recount the dream. She told me she had hoped I was taking care of the plants. Ruda (rue), sábila (aloe vera), and Corona de Cristo (Christ plant) adorn my front porch. I’ve since added rosemary, jade, and a few others. Care of the earth has always been imperative. In our current times, survival will depend on how we treat what God created to meet our basic needs.

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