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  • Writer's pictureThe Eastside Panther

APRIL 28 - JOCELYN URBINA (freshman)

During these times, days feel long, and the routines I once followed no longer prevail. Sometimes, it almost feels like everything around me is on pause and standing still.

But one thing that hasn't been put on pause is nature. Flowers continue to grow, the temperature outside changes throughout the day, and the sun hasn't stopped rising and setting.

When I was living in the dorms, I received a moon cactus in a secret Santa gift exchange. I loved it from the start, but the plant was easy to ignore as it hid behind my dorm room’s curtain. Then, I bought an Echeveria succulent during winter break. I took it to my dorm to decorate my room, but I also ignored its needs and the care it wanted from me. I rarely paid attention to my plants in the dorms - I was never in the mood to admire them or even think of them as more than just plants.

Now that I’m home, I look at them differently. Something has changed.

“Sheltering at home” has let me become close to the succulent plants, which now stay in my room. As they stand on my window sill, they no longer hide behind a curtain. They stand out perfectly, and remind me that they are still thriving in the midst of this stay at home order. I now have more time to watch them, so I notice every unique feature in them. I can't say that watering them has brought us closer since my plants don't need to be watered so often. But looking at them grow and stay alive has.

In my moon cactus, I love to admire the perfect mix of orange and yellow blends into the little ball of cacti sitting on its stem. As for my Echeveria succulent, I love how bulky its base is and how thin and delicate its little flowers are. Its salmon-colored flowers lean towards the sun and stick out like bending twigs.

It feels good, knowing the plants I am taking care of are accepting the love I put into them. In a sense, I help nourish them and they help me see the good in all this. Maybe staying home has made me a more observant person, one who can appreciate the little things like the plants standing still on my windowsill.

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