When we first moved to the apartment complex where we live in West Los Angeles, a neighbor, living obliquely across the grass covered courtyard, grew a yellow daisy plant in her garden plot. Visible from my dining room window, the vibrant yellow daisies brightened my day. After my neighbor retired from her public teaching job and returned to her home state in Southern USA, her yellow daisy plant slowly died. The sturdy main branch became spongy. Did the plant miss her special care and touch?
In 2009, as job losses and home foreclosures mounted as a result of the world financial crisis, I decided to cultivate my own yellow daisy plant. My sons took me to the Garden Section of the Home Depot closest to our neighborhood. I transferred the small potted yellow daisy plant into the ground outside my dining room window.
I watched my daisy plant grow and bloom, attracting bees and butterflies—now a rare sight. Where have all the bees and butterflies gone?
In autumn last year, a fungus transformed the vibrant green foliage of my daisy plant to a ghostly green. For the first time, I took the drastic action of removing all of the foliage with buds and flowers, leaving only the stark, bare branches.
Summer came. There were still no signs of life. Had I killed my prized flowering plant?
This August, life stirred again. New branches and leaves emerged and grew. The first four buds appeared in September. Today, my yellow daisy plant has recovered its original growth in height and expansion. But there is a noticeable change. There are far more buds and daisies than ever before. I marvel at the daisy plant’s ability to recover from such total loss.
In removing the diseased foliage from my daisy plant, I was reminded that there are times when we must rid ourselves of the negativity in our lives that prevent us from being the beautiful people we once were or were meant to be.
My daisy plant has also taught me that when we lose everything—job, home, motor vehicle, and other trappings of our life—it is not the end, once we remain grounded and stand firm. Rather, such a time should be seen as an opportunity to take stock of what is truly important for our well being and for those we love.
Like the yellow daisy plant, we, too, have the capacity to recover and transform our lives after losing everything. We, too, can become even more beautiful and stronger than ever before.
Change begins deep within our minds, hearts, and souls—invisible to the eye. Change is already in progress. Change takes time to manifest itself. Glorious will be our transformation when that happens.