In the middle of the courtyard in our building is a young jasmine plant – and it isn’t looking too good. A week or so after we arrived, I noticed it was rather crispy. I worried about it. “Do you think we should water it?” I asked Lynn. “I don’t know,” she replied. “It definitely needs something.”
Later I saw one of the junior doctors, Dr. Somu (who also happens to be the tech guy, the telecom guy, and at that moment he was installing a new electronic door-lock system in our building – everyone seems to be a jack-of-all-trades around here). “Hey Dr. Somu,” I asked, “Do you think that plant needs something? I was wondering if we should water it? It looks really thirsty.”
“No, it’s ok,” he replied. “It was just transplanted last week. That’s what they do – it will drop all its leaves, and then it will sprout new ones. Don’t worry.”
What a perfect lesson, I thought. Here I am, savior of the masses, trying to fix something that isn’t even broken. I always want to make things better, to stick my hands into anything that looks off balance and set it right. I laughed to myself and thought, “Check. Stop fixing everything, Ivy. Be patient.”
Later that same day, I ran into Dr. Ramkumar, who seems to keep cropping up at ripe moments. He walked with me into our building and we passed the jasmine plant. “You all should water that plant,” he said. I stopped.
“Oh no, it’s ok,” I reassured him from my new-found knowledge. “I asked about it, and it’s just been transplanted. They said it is going to drop all its leaves and then it will sprout new ones. So it’s ok.”
He smiled. “Yes, but you should still water it. You should tend to it and love it, and it will grow as you learn. Then you will grow here together.”
I keep thinking I’ve got it figured out, that I’ve found the right answer, and then Dr. Ramkumar comes along and finds a new way to pull me out of my little brain and lead me back to my heart.