A Bean Plant

Some days I yearn for simplicity. The uncomplicated. The untroublesome. I stand in the kitchen for an entire minute, hands to my nose, simply taking in their scent after peeling a clementine. I watch the cardinals flit about our yard, branch to patio to chair to branch to deck and back to branch, looking for food, looking for items for which to build a nest. I stand in the shower and let my hands get hot from the water and then I place my palms over my eyes, feeling their warmth.

Often, I have to actively remove myself from the complicated, purposefully seeking out the simple. But some days, it’s gifted.

Today’s gift was a bean plant. From Sophie. It’s the classic preschool project—a bean that sprouts in the confines of a wet paper towel and then grows, thanks to small hands, a styrofoam cup, a handful of dirt, a sunny classroom windowsill, a watchful teacher and daily water.

I stared at the plant for a long time today. It had grown so large, in that tiny cup. I thought about the number of small plants that have been started from seed, in styrofoam cups, in classrooms around the world this spring. And last spring. And the many springs before.

There was a lesson with it, of course. A simple lesson. A good lesson.

I loved that bean plant today. I needed that bean plant today. Just like some days I need the smell of orange peel on my skin, reminding me that even on life’s more complicated days, there’s still, always, the simple.

“I go about looking at horses and cattle.  They eat grass, make love, work when they have to, bear their young.  I am sick with envy of them.” —Sherwood Anderson