April Note from the Editor: On Staying Resilient (And Ushering in Spring!)

How a house plant taught me to hope.

My parents own a plant that’s older than I am. A gift for their wedding, this scheflerra lived with Mom and Dad in their first apartment in Toledo, Ohio. It made the transition to the small town of Grinnell, Iowa, when my dad took a basketball coaching job at a local college. It nearly froze to death on their move to North Dakota, after which, it was pruned from a 5-foot, jungle-like masterpiece to barely the size of an indoor basil plant.

It survived cats gnawing on its leaves, puppies using it as a toilet and 3-year-old boys kicking up its dirt with Hot Wheels trucks.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s impossible to kill this sucker (shocking to me, the accidental murderer of multiple cilantro plants). Now in its 30th year of life, the majestic scheflerra stands a whopping 6 feet tall, restored to its pre-frostbite glory. It spends its winters basking in the light from living-room picture windows and its summers lounging on the backyard patio.

I ignored this plant for most of my life, and took for granted its place in the corner of my parents’ house. But when I recently heard the story of its life for the umpteenth time, I suddenly became like a proud parent, gushing to my husband about its place in my family.

The scheflerra has lived through as much turmoil, health problems and heartache as most people. And yet, here it stands, the picture of resilience. It gives me hope, as I wrestle with the trials of my own health issues, conflicts with loved ones and transitions in my first year of marriage. It reminds me that, even if I’m cut down by life, I always have the opportunity to emerge, stronger and sturdier than ever.

And that’s what I love about this issue—no matter how long our winter has been, it’s nice to know that spring is coming and we can count on the best lake-area garden shops (featured in our Garden Store Roundup) to bring new life into our lives.

Here’s to that hope, that resilience and that scheflerra-type of refusal to give up.