I have a very tall tropical plant with three "trunks" and an umbrella of greenery at the top. I got this plant from a woman's house where there had been no outdoor light, all curtains drawn at all times. The plant was spindly and pale, and about two feet tall, with two anemic stems. I just put it in a sunny window and before long, it started to stretch upward and out, turning a deep green again, and adding a third stem. I so enjoyed watching the transformation of this humble plant. Over the last eight years, I've re-potted it a couple of times. I talk to it and stroke its leaves every so often, just to spread the good vibes. :) It did not enjoy my last move to the next county, but it has started coming around. I moved it to a shady spot away from the bright sunlight.
Lately, it has been in a too-small pot, and I had to tie the plant to a tree so that it would not fall over during windy days. Roots were coming up out of the top. I needed a very large pot and a friend gave me a dirty old plastic one that had been discarded in her yard. I scrubbed this solid pot well, and drilled five holes in the bottom.
I told the plant my plan to re-pot it and asked it to prepare itself. I firmly believe that plants have feelings, and I treat them with respect. Got some nice soil and partly filled the pot. Then I went to work on the tangled roots and pruned them severely. I have to say there was barely any soil left in the pot (shame on me.) I got the root ball into the fresh soil, and now the plant stands tall and proud. I know there will be no trauma because it had time to prepare itself. (I know it sounds crazy, but that's just the way it is.) The tallest trunk of this plant is now at about eight feet tall. I told it that the next time it gets replanted, it'll go into the ground.
In the old pot, I planted a grouping of pansies. They are great winter flowers here in Florida since they can withstand cold snaps, and they don't like heat. They will grow spectacular until June of next year... I love pansies, especially the yellow ones.
I never thought to take pictures of this event. Why am I telling you this story? Sometimes our own pots grow too crowded and tight. Have you ever heard a plant complain? They make do even if they have to coil their roots in thick bundles at the bottom of the pot. It's not natural or right, but they have a strong will to survive. Humans are just like that too. No matter how difficult the circumstances might be for growth, we find a way to make it happen.
I feel as if my creative wings are somewhat clipped, or buried deep into an airless pot, but I do keep after my art journal pages like a life line to the time when I can really spread my wings freely and take flight.
Actually, without any drama, all I really have to do is to take my big canvases outside and use the lawn as a table. I don't have to worry too much about flinging paint around. Lawns are very forgiving that way. I like painting big.
So, the point is: make the best of every situation because life will prevail and there will always be someone kind to prune your roots and find the best sunny spot for a new life, new growth. New expression, even if the canvas happens to be small. I wake up every morning and pull in the feeling of gratitude. Humility and gratitude go hand in hand. Those two qualities might be the gifts from growing in a pot that is too small for your roots.
Some day soon there will be pansy pictures here... Until then, just picture them in your mind.... ;)