Guest editor Priyanka Naidoo reflects on change and adaptation, and the resilience they can bring.
The day the last autumn leaves fall, I feel a gloominess set in. I hug my shoulders as I go into the house. I am drawn to the slight rays of sunlight that stream through my kitchen window and l see my orchid buds opening. The plant’s purply, pink delicate beauty restores my soul.
I know that a lot of uncertainty and concern are circling the world and the media. Living through a pandemic, we cling to safety. All lives matter: all races, culture and gender. We feel fearful and uncertain when we don’t have control and the need to protect weighs heavily on a parent.
These are the falling leaves, that leave us feeling vulnerable and weary. That orchid that is blooming is your family, your kids – the life around us, right now.
I sit here, staring at my orchid, and can’t help but think of my two-year-old daughter: the pure love she has for me and the faith she has in me. On days where the leaves fall and the world seems unsafe and uncertain, I am reminded that her inner world, her heart, her soul and her mind are always in tune with mine. Her world will always be comforted and protected by the love, values and culture of strength, that are created in our home.
I am reminded, of the seasons and the guarantee of change – I know some seasons bring cold, harsh discomfort, but I am uplifted in knowing that there is always a springtime of blooming and new life ‒ a season of renewal that comes too. Through all seasons, as a parent, especially in the colder times, we are geared to protect and care for our children. We have the ability to give them an endless supply of sunshine and soundness, found in our love.
The most incredible thing I have realised from the leaves and the flowers, is that they are in tune with their current environment. They lose leaves or blossom based on so many variables: the amount of water, sunlight and care they receive. And in our homes we have the tools to grow and nurture our children to blossom with hope and adaptability for the future.
Our children will be exposed to the outer world again. We have to take comfort in knowing and believing that as parents, we have the power to build and influence our children positively. No matter what the world is going through, our home is a constant reminder of love and security.
Just like little orchid buds, that take a whole season to show any sign of actual blooming again, our kids are constantly feeding off the sunlight or rain that we pour down.
Having an orchid has taught me patience. I did get impatient and discouraged at times, but all I can say is, be patient, be intentional and persist with care and love, and you will see new energy and beauty blossom – a revival.
I tell myself every morning that it’s a new day to love and to grow my kid, to be present and I have the power within me to create a home of calm and peace where my child will always feel safe, protected and able to thrive. As she blossoms, I will continue to water, care and guide her to build her into resilience and kindness, and with the ability to embrace and adapt to all the seasons of life that come our way.