I have never been very good at taking care of house plants, but one afternoon last fall, in a burst of hope and optimism, I decided to get one for our new apartment. I asked the lady at the store what was the best plant to get if I have a history of killing plants, and she laughed and pointed me to a leafy little green guy, with more leaves than I thought I could handle. "Are you sure?" I said, "I can't even keep a succulent alive!" But she laughed, said something reassuring, and I found myself walking home with that very leafy growth in a bag.
I let it sit by the window and watered it every now and then out of random containers because we didn't (and still don't) own a watering can. One day, I noticed that it wasn't dying; in fact, there was a new little leaf, uncurling. And then a few weeks later, that little leaf had become a medium sized leaf, and then there were all sorts of other leaves I hadn't seen before. My husband, who doesn't observe the plant as much as I do, doesn't think it looks much different from when I first bought it; but I've been watching it, and I see little stems I've never seen before stretch out and unfold to become these waxy, patterned, beautiful leaves.
I am learning that this is how growth works: it is slow, but steady. It doesn't always come like a firework, explosive and loud, with sparkles and an orchestra playing in the background. Most of the time, or for me, anyway, growth is this slow, baby step by baby step process; it hears a little voice say hey, try this, and you buy a cheap calligraphy set from Chapters with old ink and an instruction book. And then you read some blogs and find yourself buying some better tools and watching how to videos online. And then you find yourself asking your friend if you can do calligraphy for her wedding as a way to help her out, and then that becomes another wedding, and then another wedding. And then someone says, why don't you make an Etsy? And when you do, and people start buying stuff and you think, my goodness, people want to pay me?! And then you make more and more and more, and try new and different things, and ask your husband to teach you stuff on photoshop, and make business cards. And then you find yourself here, making a website, and you look back and start to see how this might be a new little leaf after all.
So with that said, welcome to this... leafy growth. It's still an ongoing process, and maybe it doesn't look like very much. But for those who have seen its humble beginnings, including zero visual art background and being in a weird in between stage, I know you see those little leaves uncurling, because you've told me, and now I see it too. And I think it's still one foot in front of the other, one leaf at a time. But I'm happy to be growing, and delighted that you would come along for the ride. So thank you, whether you're observing or watering - thank you for being here. You are welcome here.