I’m grateful to this little plant for reminding me that you can still live and grow even when your situation less than ideal. Between paving slabs trodden by unheeding visitors to the library is hardly an ideal place for any plant to thrive, but this one has clearly been giving it a go for quite a while.
Perhaps most people would just see a weed sullying the pavement. Or maybe, like me on countless previous visits they simply haven’t noticed it, but on Friday the bright patch of greenery caught my attention. I stopped to look properly at what appeared to be a tiny tree growing underfoot and was enchanted by the miniature landscape created there.
The flattened chamomile reminded me of all the stunted windblown trees that grow on cliffs and moors, growing as best they can in the place they find themselves. It’s not easy to thrive in a hostile environment and impossible to fulfill your potential, but just surviving is beautiful in itself and a reminder of possibilities.
I’ve always enjoyed the sight of rogue plants growing in unexpected or hostile places. They’re a reminder that no matter how man-made and managed the landscape is, nature will colonise and re-wild the land the moment our backs are turned. Gardening books advise on ideal growing conditions, but seeds at liberty don’t wait for perfection, they grow if they possibly can.
My encounter with the chamomile helped shift my mood from despairing my current circumstances to a renewed determination to live the best life I can despite the numerous challenges I’m dealing with. I may not be able to do what I want to do, but I’ll keep on doing what I can.