I’ve always had an interest in linguistics. Only recently I’ve come to learn that the official word to describe something as having more than one name is polyonymous. Take our favourite bubbly indulgence for example, soft drink. Soft drink is also known as soda, pop and Coke. That’s polyonymous.
Learning that nifty fact, I’ve come to realise that the word Paralegal is also polyonymous. In the GV hub, Paralegal is also known as event planner, writer, blogger, social media enthusiast and most recently plant lady.
I admit, the latter title was not one that I acquired by choice. The plants chose me.
I remember the day clearly. I walked through the office doors and commenced my usual morning ritual – lights on, computer on, e-mail logged in, music on, phone on, to do list made. It wasn’t until another fellow GV member walked in when I noticed our magnificent greeting plants that are famous for standing the tallest and most proud were… limp, sad, drooping towards the floor as if someone had stood in front of them all night whispering words that had hurt their feelings.
A former GV member of ours was a great plant carer. Soon after he left we tried to be communal about the responsibility to water the plants, but in the midst of it all it became hard to keep track. And the result was our plants were turning a sombre yellow and drooping.
It was a sight for sore eyes and also a catalyst. I got up and watered the plants. The whole process was completely and utterly intimidating. My dad once asked me to identify a weed and I plucked a flower. Thoughts were swimming into my head in chaos as I was pouring a stream of water into earth – how much is enough? Do I stop now? How about now? I know over watering is a thing, am I doing it? Humans need two litres a day but what about plants?
I wasn’t committed to the whole affair until midday arrived and from the corner of my eye I saw that the Gemini twins (their new names) had rose up and looked a little taller and a little happier. And what’s more, everyone in the office noticed.
And that’s when it happened. I saw magic. I was completely taken aback by how the act of watering them made them so much happier again in such a small amount of time.
Slowly it formed into a habit. I would notice more quickly the plants not looking like their usual selves when they were in the trusted hands of their old carer and it would spark me lifting off my seat and watering them. And then my morning routine became lights on, water the plants, computer on, e-mail logged in, music on, phone on, to do list made.
I am now also able to identify some of the plants we house in the GV office and learning about who they actually are makes me more grateful for them. For example, we are the keepers of two peace lily’s which NASA has certified as one of the best air purifiers in the world. These little powerhouses can improve indoor air quality by as much as 60 percent which means that when we take care of our peace lily’s they in turn take care of us.
Then there is the marbled pothos which we once mistook for as ivy since its growth is something out of Jack and the Beanstalk, growing high but also around the floor and towards one of our consultants feet. But make no mistake marbled pothos is special and when it’s properly taken care of the mesmerizing, makes-no-sense, marbled pattern becomes even more prominent.
And so, in the same way making your bed in the morning calls for a more productive day, watering the plants, picking its dead leaves, pruning them and wiping their foliage of dust, calls for a more satisfying one. It’s a truly rewarding experience especially as of yesterday because one of our Gemini twins is now blooming a white flower.
What’s more, I’m convinced that these plants are our secret messengers and when something special like a white flower blooms you’re reminded that life will deal you some weeks where you don’t feel or even look like you, and things can begin to slip. But the turn around to usual business can be swift with some self-care and as long as you don’t give up, you can always rise back up.