From seedling to success – How a banana plant shaped my journey

by | May 4, 2023

Way back when we first moved into our house, my husband decided to buy a banana tree.  For what reason did he buy it you ask?  We don’t live in sunny Queensland; how could this banana tree possibly thrive in Melbourne weather.  The kind of weather, that in winter, can get down to 2’c overnight.  For my husband though, seeing this lush, green, vibrant plant was a reminder of life.  A reminder of holidays and happy days.

So off he went to buy this huge banana tree.  It was decided that we were going to put it in a pot in a very small courtyard area, that if I’m being really honest, acts like a lightwell.  The space is about 1.5 meters squared.  Not a huge space.  But it was getting sunlight and getting water, so it was fine.

As I have found with our beautiful home.  It is ever constant changing environment.  We’ve changed bedrooms, our children have changed bedrooms, bedrooms have become studies which have later become toy rooms.  Moving, shuffling, trying to get the house in order so that the ‘flow’ works.

Our garden too had changed and morphed into a children’s haven with a trampoline and cubby house.  Credit goes to my hubby for building that entire cubby house on his own just before we were entering lockdown.  And as such, we ended up moving the banana plant into the backyard.

I remember one day my mother-in-law calling me to the lane way.  “Natalie quick come!”  Of course, thinking it was an emergency, I’ve sprinted to the back of our house.  “Look!”  She exclaimed!  “You have bananas!!!”  Now in order for this story to do its justice, when you’re reading the speaking parts I want you to read my mother in laws part in a heavy Greek accent.  This makes the story more fun.

I look up and what do you know – there was, what they call, a hand of bananas, otherwise known as a bunch of bananas with quite a few lady finger bananas.  They were very small and very green, but I was impressed that they could even grow from our plant.

As the months went by, I became sceptical that they would actually grow and turn yellow.  Let’s be realistic we live in Melbourne and as mentioned before, it can be a very cold climate.  I only thought bananas grew in the north of Australia.

As it worked out, the bananas did grow.  They were thriving and the day came where they were perfect to pick.  Hubby went up and cut down the hand of bananas.  We peeled them, unsure of what they would taste like, and I was utterly blown away by their sweetness.  Grateful that this beautiful plant was able to bear us fruit.

The moral of this story is that environment is everything!  Yes, the banana plant was surviving in the lightwell.  It was alive.  It was coping.  But once the environment changed, it was thriving.  Flourishing.  It was able to shine in its true beauty.

As mothers, most of us – once we receive the diagnosis – go into the light well.  Just surviving.  Coping.  Managing.  Just keeping our heads above water.  But if we can change the environment, we can move mountains.  We can bring new light and bear new wisdom to our children and to ourselves.

Don’t stay in the lightwell.  There is a better way.

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