How hard it is to know
when the pot is too small for the plant.
Some plants need to be contained, held very close.
Others cannot be crowded.
I don’t know when I myself am too pot-bound,
lacking courage to be replanted,
to take the shock of new soil,
to feel into the unknown and to take root in it.
This drying out, this self-crowding
sneaks up on me. It seems I must always feel
a little wilted or deadened before I know
I’m too pot-bound.
This Africa violet must first be cut
and divided. The knife goes through the root.
The white flesh exposed and moist
looks as if it is bleeding.
It must have soil immediately
so the plant won’t die.
Then water. Water taken in from below.
This water must seep up into the plan
by infusion. Then comes the waiting
as the shock registers.
Days and weeks of waiting.
It will be months before a new leaf appears.
Perhaps the plant won’t make it.
So it is when the time comes for me to be cut
and divided so as to grow again.
Help me to see this not as a problem
but as a process. Help me surrender
to the growth that only comes through pain,
with division, with helplessness, with waiting.
Especially the days and weeks of waiting.
(From Being Home, by Gunilla Morris)