Some months ago, on my way to Becoming, I saw this little plant lying stray, uprooted, dying by the road side.
I thought, “wow, this little pretty plant should grow into a beautiful tree. I need to save it from dying.” So, I planted it in my heart and named it Peachmuffin.
Every morning, for three months now, I’ll rise to water Peachmuffin with hope in my heart that one day it’ll respond to care.
Fortunately, it responded and within this short period, it’s green leaves had began to sprout, my little plant is becoming a tree, beautiful to behold.
I was happy. I felt fulfilled. And I was surprised when, one morning, a voice came from Peachmuffin saying, “Thank you for saving me.” I was startled, but I knew this meant that Peachmuffin was happy to be planted in my heart.
This morning, I stood up as usual to water my little pretty plant. With the bucket of love dangling down my right hand and a the lamp of patience hanging on a finger in my left, I walked to my heart to see my Peachmuffin.
I opened the door expecting to be welcome by the glow of my little pretty Peachmuffin but my little pretty Peachmuffin is not there. Lying before me, in her place, was this lifeless withered stick that I can’t believe was just last night a blooming plant.
“What’s wrong?” I asked myself.
“But I watered you daily? But you loved here?” I enquired as if I was ever going to get a reply from the lifeless thing.
I picked it up, tear drops falling from my eyes now, “Why did you die? Why did you leave me?”
Then I thought, perhaps this land is not fertile enough for her. I must have killed my Peachmuffin. I shouldn’t have planted her here. I should have helped her find the perfect land she would survive in. I killed my Peachmuffin.
I stood there dejected, the tears now no longer a trickle of inconsistent drops but a stream of flowing waters.
My heart sank.
Then I saw in from of me a moving shadow and I turned back to see this old man standing with his hands folded on his chest.
“I am Zarathustra.”
“Okay, but fuck you and your name sir. Hell cares about it.” I immediately thought, but I managed to utter otherwise. “Okay. Am I supposed know you, sir.” I wiped my face with the back of my hand.
“I’m sorry about your loss.”
“Yea, thanks, dear sir.”
“I lost my own tree two weeks ago. A plant I’ve been norturing for three years. I woke up that day to find her withered, just like yours.”
“Hmm.” I nodded.
“I don’t know how you met your plant, but I found mine on my way to becoming.”
“Same here, sir… Zarathustra?”
“Yes, please. And I loved it immediately and it loved me in return. I couldn’t imagine that we’ll ever have to be separated. But along the line I’ve learned many lessons that has prepared me for that moment of loss, which is why I seem prepared and it’s easier for me to get over it.”
“But I don’t want to get over this,” I retorted.
“But you have to. First because this is not your fault. It’s just that the plant’s lifespan in your heart has expired. You needed that time so you can learn lessons from the experience. You have to see your loss as gain, because it is.”
“I know you don’t want to hear this right now,” he continued, “but you have to. There are still many more trees to be discovered. None of them is guaranteed to stay for ever, but they’ll come at the right time and they’ll likewise leave at the right time.”
“When they come, accept them, norture them with as much love as your heart can offer and when it’s time for them to leave, allow your heart to release them. You should be able to say by then that you’ve fought the good fight.”
He walked closer to me and took my hands, lifting them to chest level and holding them there as he continued.
“Now, son, pick up the spade and bury your dead Peachmuffin. Open your heart to appreciate the collateral beauty that lies everywhere around you. From pain comes beauty. Use this experience to better your future encounters.”
“You’re right. Your heart might not be the perfect ground for the plant. Now you should know how to discern if your heart is good or not for any plant that comes your way in the future. On the other hand, you might be wrong. Your heart might be just the perfect soil but due to wrong frequency of watering it with love. Now you should know with what frequency to water your future plants.”
Zarathustra offered to help me clean up the dead plant. I rejected the offer. Then he added.
“Why, son, sometimes you might not be able to get over your loss all by yourself. You might need the people around you to help you do that. It’s okay if you don’t want me to, but it’s perfectly okay too for me to help you speed up the process.”
Tonight, I’ll sleep with a light heart filled with gratitude. I’ll rest assured that though this might seem like a loss, it’s great gain. I’ve done my best to keep Peachmuffin but it chose to leave, when it’s time for it to. So I’ll let it leave in peace.
More plants will come. I can choose to name them Peachmuffin in memory of my first plant, or I can choose to give them better names so I wouldn’t have to remember Peachmuffin every single time.