Everyone said it was dead, that I should just discard it, buy another. Winter had reached its chilly fingers down into my fern garden and zapped one of my of my special, more delicate, varieties. Brown and crusty fronds hung over the edge of its clay pot, crispy and lifeless. I looked closely for signs of life. None were visible. It’s dead, they all said. I just couldn’t.
I moved it to my critical care area – where others who had been somewhat neglected were struggling to overcome spider mite infestations or root rot or too-small-pot syndrome. It looked worse than all the others. It’s dead they said. I mixed up special potions, watered it, and misted its brown fronds. I talked to it. I left the crunchy fronds to protect whatever was down in there, hiding, waiting to spring forth. Each day, I would mist it and look closely – nothing to see but brown. Then, one morning, during my daily misting, I saw it, a tiny green shoot, pushing its way through the jungle of brown. I gave it more liquid seaweed, I misted it again, I began to gently snip away some of the hopeless fronds.
Today, I counted three new fronds – and another is uncoiling slowly from beneath the others – soft, grayish and tender, it’s waiting for a little warmer weather before it unfurls and sends its soft, pale green frond upward toward the sun. Life was there all along. It just needed a little nurturing, love and faith – some things don’t happen in our time, they happen in God’s time.