Not all are Palm trees

My house was badly affected by the non-stop rains that hit Accra last season. The passage route for the water was blocked. The vicinity was flooded – with no escape route for the rainwater, I ended up living on an ‘island’. Water always finds its way, so this time, it broke walls and found its way into rooms. As though that was not enough, there was still a large amount of water stagnant around the house like a pond. All efforts previously to get help with the cause of the situation had fallen on deaf ears till it hit us hard. 

The water destroyed a lot of things but ‘one family’ did not look affected. Coming from a farming background, my old man and his wife has a mini-farm around the house. They had planted plantain, tomatoes, cocoyam, mango tree and two palm trees. As the water remained stagnant all the plants started dying. It was a sad sight. Too much of everything is indeed bad. The same water these plants needed to grow, in excess, ended up killing them. Even the aloe vera plant I thought loved water ended up dying. I watched sadly as the leaves on the mango tree fell off, leaving only branches. The plantain trees just fell and the others were completely covered by the water but not the palm tree family. They stood their grounds. 

Finally, the rains took a break and the harmattan season set in. The water dried up and another cycle began again. The plantain trees started growing on their own and one surviving aloe vera plant started spreading. The soil started getting dry and I had to start watering the aloe vera plant because it wasn’t doing well. Amazingly, I noticed that the harmattan neither affected the palm trees. Their leaves were still green and fresh. 

I never sit outside but one morning when I decided to catch some fresh air outside, the thought of the palm trees survival during the seasons dawned on me. It felt as though the palm tree was in a world of its own. It couldn’t be bothered about all the rain and the stagnant water or the dry season. It withstood the same difficult times that got the other plants to give up. The palm tree still flourished. As I thought about this, I remembered all that I had heard about the palm tree; that it is blessed and useful. I asked myself, ‘why won’t it be useful with this strong attitude towards life?’ At that point, I saw the palm tree as human. But come to think of it, if you can survive the extremity of seasons then you should know you can make it through life. 

I started wondering if I am a Palm tree or not. Throughout the week, my respect for the palm tree increased as I passed by it to and from work. However by the end of the week, it occurred to me that we could all not be palm trees. I wish we could all be but that’s not how life works. We need plantain plants, mango trees and the aloe vera plants as well. In as much as we wish we could be strong, face challenges head-on and come out winning, it sadly cannot be the story of us all. We should do our best to let that be our story but if we are like the plantain tree that easily falls at the slightest wind and storm, that shouldn’t be the end of us. I told you how the plantain tree just got up on its own right after the storm. It didn’t just grow as one plant but in multiple. I don’t even know how it keeps spreading everywhere and I can say same for the aloe vera plant. I have not given up on the mango tree yet though it looks dead. 

All that I learnt this week is this, challenges like storms will hit us. It’s part of life. You can be like the palm tree, fight strong till the end and come out victorious but if the storm breaks you, pulls you down and makes you feel less of a person like it did to the plantain, aloe vera and others, please, don’t remain in that state. Yes, you are down but you can rise again. You can do more and achieve more than you did before that storm hit you. Maybe like the aloe vera plant, you would need help. Talk to someone if you have to. You don’t need to suffer alone. There’s always someone there to help you back on your feet. Just because things went from bad to worse in your life doesn’t mean that’s the end for you. 

You can always get back up.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Your words did paint- a very beautiful picture.

    1. Thanks Samuel

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