Budding Avocado Tree

What My Avocado Tree Taught Me

Below is the avocado plant I’ve been growing from a seed. She’s not much to look at…yet. In fact, she’s quite awful looking.  

Sprouting Avocado

When you look beneath the surface of the water, you see the outside skin of the seed has fallen away, and the roots are gnarly.

Avocado

When you study the seam where the plant emerges from the seed, you get a sense of the force that was needed for the seedling to come into the light.

Avocado

The stem is scrawny, but you can just make out the tiny buds where leaves or perhaps additional branches will form.

Sprouts

She may not be pretty or look very strong, but she is mine. And I love her. Each and every day I check her progress. I add more water, and I excitedly remark on her growth. I think she feels my energy supporting her and encouraging her to reach her full potential.

She stands just under 5” tall. It’s taken a long time to get this far. The information I found online for growing an avocado tree from a seed said if there was no growth in six to eight weeks, discard the seed and start a new one.

If I had listened to that, I would have given up on her and tossed her out long ago. But I noticed the small incremental changes that made me believe in her.

It took weeks just for her roots to start growing. First, I noticed a film forming around the bottom of the seed. It looked yucky, but I let it be, trusting in the process. “That’s progress,” I thought and continued to water and check in with her every day. The water started to look rather nasty, but I could see spindly little roots starting to form on the sludgy bottom of the seed.

And then one day, seemingly overnight, I looked and the root was long enough to touch the bottom of the glass. And after several more days, it was long enough to coil around and smaller roots began to shoot off of the main one. Soon, the seed split, and I could see the center mass from which the roots had generated. This was promising, but still no seedling popped out of the top. I continued to water her and wished for her to grow.

And then, one morning when I peeked at her progress, there it was. The tiniest brownish beginnings of a stem. We were way beyond the six to eight weeks described in the online instructions, but each day, I noticed something new.  

And as long as she was willing to try, I was willing to support and encourage her.

At around week 12, she was about an inch tall. After that, she just took off—growing like a weed, as they say. Our patience and persistence were paying off.

We still have a long way to go, but we are well on our way. When I look at her journey thus far, it was difficult. It took a lot of time; it took patience; it took tenacity; it took strength; and it took unwavering faith. For her, failure was not an option. And I’d like to think that my care, my encouragement, and my hopes for her future gave her the boost of energy she needed to succeed. 

It may sound silly, but we share a bond, this avocado tree and I. We are a team. We’ve shared this experience of growth, and she  has taught me a few things.

She taught me growth takes time. It requires commitment, patience, and the unequivocal belief that what you desire is possible. It requires sitting in that uncomfortable coagulation of the unknown, trusting that it is creating the environment you need to succeed. It is consistently pushing against the shell that would keep you confined. It’s recognizing that first glimmer of light that shows you the way forward. And it’s moving forward with the exuberance of freedom. She has also taught me the importance of having someone who believes in you.

And so, we will continue to nurture each other, my avocado plant and I. I will continue to provide her with water and encouragement so that she may continue to grow. And she will keep reminding me to be kind and generous to myself so that I may grow. Though I am curious to see what our futures hold, I will continue to focus on each day’s progress with patience, fortitude, faith, and gratitude.

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