Finding Unexpected Joy in a Succulent Plant

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

I wasn’t always the ideal candidate to nurture life.  In college my dorm was unimaginably messy, I regularly slept on a pile of clothes in lieu of a bed, and in the midst of all this, I managed to kill multiple cacti.  I repeat, the easiest plants to keep alive: cacti.

Photo credit: seongpodong.koreanconsulting

Photo credit:

Maybe because of these failed attempts (as weak as they were), I resigned myself to thinking my thumb was not so much green as it was toxic, and didn’t really think about it much beyond this resignation.

But years later, when I was moving into my first, very-own, all-to-myself apartment, I got the urge to buy some plants.  It was kind of a weird sensation.  Where is this coming from?  I was at least willing to suspend my long-held allegations of horticulture incompetency just long enough to tantalize my intrigue.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

So one day I stopped to eat at The International Market on Belmont Blvd (one of Nashville’s most beloved places to eat good thai food for cheap,) and I saw they had these adorable succulent plants for sale to benefit flood victims.  The perfect opportunity has arrived.

My first encounter with succulent plants was when I was working a summer job in college as a Plant Waterer.  Boredom reached pinnacle heights at this job.  I’d combat the doldrums by writing songs and listening to tunes, but when I arrived at the succulent section, I could help but be mesmerized.  The leaves on a succulent plant are like little pouches of water, delicately attached to the stem.  It was so hard to resist the urge to touch them.  Just to imagine the tactile sensation of these adorable pods of greenery was enough to keep me inspired throughout the day.

Simon the Cat, nestled up next to my succulent plant.

Simon the Cat, nestled up next to my succulent plant.

So now I’ve owned my little plant for about a year and a half.  Not only is it ridiculously easy to take care of in-door succulents (I’m making up for those poor cacti in my past) but I now notice an unexpected joy that rises up every time I see a sprout of new growth in my miniature potted garden.  And I’m not kidding, I really did not expect to get so much joy out of this.  I find myself fascinated again and again by these little spurts of life.

Admiring a new spurt of life.

Admiring a new spurt of life.

When I take a closer look though, my joy is not “unexpected” at all.  The word unexpected means surprise, unbenounced, out-of-the-blue.  What’s out -of-the-blue about consist and daily nurturing?  As I’ve watered the soil of my little plant, I did not know I’ve been watering my own emotional soil until, in a seemingly sudden burst, the bud has appeared.  All at once I’ve realized how much happiness it brings me to take care of another living thing.

I’ve learned that Joy is a slow and steady cultivation.  As I apply this to the broader scope of my life and my music career (which takes a lot of SLOW and steady work!) I will remember that Unexpected Joy may take awhile to break through the soil – but it will.

What is your Unexpected Joy in life right now?

For more info on succulent plants: Succulents & Sunshine Blog


OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.raehering.compiano


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About Rae Hering

Pop and jazz styles come together in Rae Hering’s fresh musical sound. With her sophisticated melodic sense and eclectic songwriting style, this multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter creates intelligent music that ranges from playful to melancholy to funky.

If you enjoy what I do, please share it!




11 thoughts on “Finding Unexpected Joy in a Succulent Plant

      • OHHHHHH – Ha, don’t know why that was so confusing to me. Well, that’s not weird at all!! Being a cat owner myself, I totally understand. Sorry for my dull-wit there.

      • How is your singing life… ? You sing quite nice.. Some can’t sing the blues but you can..

      • Music IS my life! (at least that’s the goal 🙂 Thank you for your support and appreciation for what I do. It’s going well – like all things that take cultivation, it’s slow and steady. The more I am able to accept that fact, the sturdier and stronger I become at my art.

  1. Hi Rae, i like this post. there are many things that give me joy in life. it usually comes in simpler circumstances like making cookies or hugging a loved one. 🙂 i am the same way w/plants. bamboo is pretty easy plant to care for too in case you are looking to expand. -Connie

    • Thank you, Connie! I might just have to try bamboo next, it has been a long time since I’ve attempted – same story with the cactus! But I bet I can keep a bamboo alive, now.

      • Yeah, they’re great. They’re considered lucky, too. Mine is huge and instead of soil, mine live in rocks. Just add a lot of water each week. 🙂 Good luck!

  2. It is very refreshing, relaxing, and rewarding to take care of another living thing. I’ve been gardening since I was in the first grade. My specialty is succulents. I say succulents because all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Therefore, succulents includes cacti.

    Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!

    P.S. I would have left you a LIKE on eight of your posts but LIKE buttons are not working for me on blogs with a URL that ends with……..:(

    P.P.S. Love your fine, furry, four-legged friend!

    • Thanks for camping out, Russel and I’m glad to have ya! Sounds like you had a good, early start on gardening! If I ever have any questions or quandaries with my succulents, may I pop over to your blog to ask a question? Thanks for stopping by, (and Simon the Cat says thanks, too!)

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