Have you ever gotten, or given, a Lucky Bamboo plant? They make nice housewarming gifts, and add a touch of exotic flair to what might otherwise be a boring workspace. And they’re hardy, too. I got my first one 8 or 9 years ago, and it’s still thriving.
But for this post, I’m not talking about the teeny-tiny ones you can get from a florist, or at a shop in China Town. No. Desktop-bamboo cannot handle the pressure I’m bringing today.
I’m talking about wild bamboo, because I’ve discovered that it can actually save your sanity.
Or at least make you feel much, much better if you’ve been waiting for something big to change in your life.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth. The ironic thing, though, is that for the first five years of its growth, you barely see a thing above-ground. Maybe a sprout or a little green hair barely poking through, but then…
…after five years of apparent nothingness…
It starts to grow 2.5 feet a day until it reaches approximately 100 feet. During these 40 days, its growth is so fast you can hear it.
But those five years, when all it had to show for itself was straggly green hair? It was developing a massive root system that could sustain that 40-day rocket launch.
I swear, this so aptly describes my situation (I’m nearing the end of the metaphorical 5th year) that when people ask me, “Hey, how ya doin’?” I just want to answer: “I am wild bamboo. How are you?”
Seriously. That’s really what I want to say.
The most difficult thing about mirroring bamboo’s growth pattern is that for 5 years all of your effort and exertion is done underground. In obscurity. You’re developing like crazy. Lengthening. Strengthening. Traveling great depths into the dark earth, so that your foundation will be able to handle all that fabulous verticality. But no one topside has any idea what the heck you’re up to.
It is frustrating and lonely. Because, you know, I’m not actually a tree-plant. I’m a person (maybe with the social skills of a tree-plant), but a person nonetheless.
There are relationships I haven’t nurtured as much as I’d like. There are trips and parties I’ve missed. Phone calls and emails I haven’t returned. And I feel awful about it. But I’ve been underground… tending to my roots… my massive roots… because my 100-feet-in-40-days-growth-spurt is coming. Soon. I can feel it.
Mmmm. The light of day.