I just found this letter our kalanchoe left us. It describes our houseplant’s remarkable transformation in discovering her inner beauty through the solitude of quarantine. Enjoy!
Allow me to tell you the story of my near demise as well as my transformation to beauty. First of all, I am a succulent plant whose name is pronounced “kal-un-KOH-ee”. Madagascar is my native land. Early one summer, an illness caused my near fatality. My people referred to me as sickly. Yes, I suppose I had been dropping leaves and losing stems, but I couldn’t help it. Then came the unsightly white blotches.
“Well, Kally,” my caretakers gently informed me, “we really think we should move you out to the shed for a while. We can’t have you contaminating our other plants.”
Oh no, the dread shed. I’d never existed in solitude, away from a climate controlled people dwelling. Would the shed bring intolerable conditions to my droopy branches? How could I survive out there? With a strong sense of foreboding, I felt I’d never be the same.
Granted, I was a fraction of my former days. In my prime, my large pot burst with glorious blooms of yellow, orange and red. My people were awed with my elegance! But now? Well, I hadn’t produced a bud in who knows how long.
Well, I thought to myself, I may as well get used to a new location. After all, I have no feet growing from the base of my roots. My people certainly did not want their other plants to catch my white blotches.
Out out damn spot!
I was lonely in the quiet shed. This solitude made me feel deserted. Then, I began meeting them.
In my new location was a west facing window with plenty of afternoon sun. Sometimes the farm cat came up on the bench with me to sun himself. The sun beams were lovely in that space. Did you know that cats can make this funny sound when they’re happy? I rather like the company of Cat. In fact, he told me a secret. He revealed to me that I would never again be the same. Was this cause for concern? Was transformation truly possible?
Then, there were what My People call insects. These creatures would crawl all over me. My goodness, it tickled so much, it made me laugh!
One fortunate day, I met little Tree Frog. He could crawl and hop anywhere he liked. In fact, sometimes he would even stick to the wall! How amazing to have such stick-to-itiveness!
The nights were fascinating. Once in a while, the moon lit the dark skies. On occasion we would see these bright, joyful swooshes through the darkness. Cat named them Shooting Stars. Sometimes during the sleeping hours we would awaken to a loud chirping insect. Cat informed me it was Cricket and that she chirped simply because she couldn’t sleep. That feline loved pouncing upon crickets almost as much as he enjoyed batting my poor straggly stems!
One day, I heard a new sound, rather like a fast fluttering. The sound maker was darting to and fro so quickly, it was sometimes hard to spot. Smart old Cat announced that I’d just met Hummingbird. This flying master made a rather unique and contented sound.
I was getting to enjoy being closer to the rhythms of nature. My stems were strengthening and boasting shiny green growth.
Home again, transformation, tra-la-la!
By fall, My People reclaimed me to the house, but alas, I was still separated from the other plants. I had to be in the basement!
Okay, I do admit it. I truly was not perfect. My stems were getting a bit leggy. But, seriously, who does not love a long legged lady? At least I was in the finished part of the basement on a window ledge with a bit of indirect sun. Maybe I could grow to like it.
It was a ground level window. Once in a while rabbits would hop up to peek at me! Deer and turkeys sometimes idled by. Even though I couldn’t hear the critters talk to me, this interesting visual interaction was better than upstairs.
One and a half years after residing in the shed, my pot was filling with large, beefy stems. Then, My People noticed my new buds! They were ecstatic! Maybe it was best that I had tried to find a way to cope with my circumstances.
I initially felt quite neglected when I was quarantined from the house to the shed, but I’m here to tell you that my own intuition, as well as Cat’s, was right. I was never the same after that.
The new me!
Even though you may find this hard to believe, here is what happened during my transformation. I noticed that when something tickled me like the insects, I learned to laugh. I received the ability to purr like Cat when I was happy. When chilly, I moved into the warmth like Cat, but just not as quickly. In a contented state, I hummed like Hummingbird. When I wanted to grow healthy, I stuck to my purpose like Tree Frog sticks to the wall. If I couldn’t sleep, I would chirp like Cricket. When I was exploding with energy, I joyfully glowed like Shooting Star.
Now granted, you may not be able to quite see or hear all these fabulous traits I learned and developed during my solitude in quarantine. That’s okay, My People can’t either. You see, my new abilities are beyond the range of the sight and hearing of most humans. You may choose to “be-leaf” it or not.
However, My People, and now you, can see the evidence of this wondrous transformation via the energy shooting up my stems. My People call them flowers.
Your plant friend,