Recently I adopted a Prayer Plant and being around it as day passes into evening and then night I’ve got to know its schedule. The leaves rotate to a vertical position towards the end of the day then in the morning quite early they start to rotate to the horizontal, the leaves moving apart. I like to think the plant goes into offering mode during the day and as the afternoon wears on it prepares to move within by folding as if in prayer. It was only a few days ago that it dawned on me that this plant is actually constantly moving, if imperceptibly. I talk about this in an article titled Slow Change with the focus on how sudden change gets our attention and slow change can have us feeling stuck and frustrated while in actual fact change never stops.
Years ago while at Reading Priory I hosted a monk who was quite unwell. She spent most of her day in her room doing what she could. She had a prayer plant and found it a wonderful companion reminding her to move within as the leaves reliably moved to prayer position in late afternoon. The opening up of the leaves cheering her into a new day. The plant spoke of unfailing constancy within change and I think it gave her hope. She called the plant Belinda. My plant maybe a distant relative, I’d like to think so.
This is for the late Rev. Mildred. She taught me so much.