I used to love sitting in my balcony in the middle of the day, and taking in the heady smell of basil as the wind rustled the leaves of the small potted plant we had bought. I never used the basil in my pasta or pizza; I bought the plant just because I wanted its delicious smell in my home.
The scent and the sight of those brilliant green leaves fluttering in the wind always filled me with a sense of calm. They relaxed me to no end. The perfume brought to me visions of the lovely Italy that I had read about in books and have always wanted to visit. Lost in my dream world, I would forget my troubles, and return back to my routine soon enough, refreshed and focused.
Noticed that I used the past tense?
Thanks to our neglect and laziness, the basil plant dried up. I watched the plant drying up to thin sticks with no life in them, a couple of months ago. I tried to water it back to health, but it was too late. The damage had been done. I wanted to kick myself for letting it die, but I couldn’t do anything about it any more.
I couldn’t give up on the plant, though. I couldn’t bring myself to pull out the dry twigs from the mud, and give the pot to another lush plant. I let the remains stay, and painstakingly continued to water the pot day after day. Something in me told me to continue, and I followed that something’s advice.
Yesterday, I noticed a new plant with just four tiny, pretty green leaves in the basil pot. ‘It might be a weed’, I thought. ‘It could be basil, too’, another thought immediately struck. I rubbed my fingers on one of the leaves and brought them to my nose.
Sure enough, the beautiful scent of the basil that I had so loved assailed me once again. It was a basil plant all right. I felt so rewarded, so grateful, so happy. My sincere regret, my painstaking efforts, my love and care had paid off. Isn’t that the way love always works its miracles in life?
Nature has many lessons to teach us, and it taught me one more with this incident. It renewed my faith in something I have always believed in – that love heals. Even the deepest of wounds. If it is true and deep itself. Love can soften, enliven, with its tender touch. Love can work magic. But do not let your love die away with your neglect, as I did. Not always does it offer you a second chance.