At the beginning of September, with the approaching spring, I planted a packet of hollycocks in a seedling tray. They are tall, beautiful plants, especially when they burst into flower in mid-summer. I had already earmarked the flowerbed which would become their permanent home.
About nine days after planting, the seedlings pushed through the soil, looking vibrant and healthy. I watered them each day. They grew a little taller.
A week-long work crisis hit me, something which required 17 hours a day and the churning out of lots of paper. Simultaneously, some kind of bug or virus grabbed me, lowering my energy levels. For three days I just did not getting around to watering the baby hollycocks. On the fourth day, when I lifted the lid of the portable hothouse in which they were growing, they were gone. Dead. Shrivelled.
As I sit here, contemplating the fact that I am a serial plant killer, I am reminded of what it was I actually forgot. Anything in life that needs to grow, develop, flourish needs constant and frequent attention.
You can never become a pianist without daily music practice. You cannot reach the plateau at which you should arrive as a husband, parent, doctor, teacher, lawyer or whatever else it is you want to do, become, achieve, without daily effort, attention, support, kindness and application. You cannot grow seedlings without watering them each day.
I hope I’ll never again be responsible for the death of a tray full of seedlings.