I am not always the most attentive person when it comes to matters of the home. “What do you mean you’re supposed to clean the ceiling fan and the light switches and the oven racks? Who does that?” So you would think having houseplants around would be a disastrous idea.
“Do you think you can keep them alive?” my husband asked skeptically when I mentioned I was going to pick up some indoor plants from the nursery.
“Oh yeah, for sure,” I said.
(I was not sure.)
But I bought some, and over time, started collecting more. There are now 11 houseplants scattered throughout our home — a snake plant, a couple hanging pothos, a rubber tree plant, a spider plant and some succulents.
A strange thing happened when I starting taking care of plants: I felt more connected to my house. Plants are somewhat needy little things. They require periodic attention. Sometimes, they need water. Other times, they need to be rotated to get an even amount of sunlight. Occasionally, their leaves need to be trimmed. And every now and then, they need to be completely repotted.
While I devotedly keep them alive, I notice the areas around the plant that need some attention, too — the crannies and corners of the house that are easy to overlook. I see the bookshelf that needs a little dusting, the mirror that could use a spritz of glass cleaner, the scuff on the wall that can be rubbed off with a Magic Eraser. It’s become a sort-of ritual for me to take care of the plants and tidy up whatever’s around them.
Plants can improve our perception of our space and make us more attentive. They have done that for me. Maybe I’m just a millennial who’s trying to fill a void in my heart. Ah well — at least my space is a little nicer because of it.