🌵I have been pondering lately about relationships and the changing chemistry between people over time; and I have sadly noticed that all kinds of relationships could change for the worse, even the ones that we believe have been sealed not only with love but also with blood. Thus confirming that there should be an ongoing cultivation of these relationships, to ensure our heart does not get broken in the process, even when pride and ego take a bash.

🌵Anyway here is the perfect example of cultivation offered by nature, and I couldn’t have seen it at a better time.

On a day trip to an old monastery somewhere in the North of Lebanon, and while walking in the quiet and luscious gardens, I was stuck by the image of an Ivy growing over a cactus while completely healthy and thriving in the process. And here is the story of what might have happened.

🌵A Cactus and an Ivy were neighbours on a hill flank, overlooking the beautiful blue Mediterranean waters. Month after month, the two plants were getting bigger thus closer, sharing the same plot.

“Let’s live together”, said Cactus, attracted by the lithe and green body of Ivy.

🌿At that point I had decided that Cactus was the male and the lithe Ivy was the female, just to comply with universal physical characteristics.

“Me? live with you? Never! Replied Ivy. ‘And anyway how can we do that, with all the pricks and the thorns you carry all over your body? I am already worried of growing further and being hurt by you when reaching your side.”

Cactus was so sad with disappointment but he couldn’t argue the true outcome of this inconspicuous vicinity.

🌵And so the seasons went by and Cactus grew heavier and bolder with harder and thicker thorns, while Ivy was extending its branches over all other nearby plants, doing its best not to touch its hulky neighbour. But eventually, nature had a different scenario for these two and by the next spring, both plants had grown to such an extent that they had come to just a few millimeters apart.

Ivy was getting bigger and lovelier and the small leaves were of all the amazing green hues. Cactus was strong and chubby, with a beautiful green shine. Bees and butterflies were abundant and the air was always filled with the most beautiful scents. It was spring of course, the season of love and mating. Everyone was at it, from insects to birds to plants and trees.

🌵Cactus thought he will give it another try: “Let’s try at least. I promise you that come autumn, I will shed all my thorns and will never get them back again, just for you. Meanwhile you can lay your beautiful branches on me and I will hold you forever and ever.”

🌵That was truly romantic, said in whispers on a moonlit breezy night and Ivy liked what she was hearing.

”I could need a strong base for the winter’, she thought. ‘The wind over here can really be lethal. Also I do like Cactus, he is strong and sweet and kind”.

“All right, she said, let’s give it a try. Meanwhile I will come as close as I can without touching the thorns. And if you decide to drop them for good, I can give you shade and protection with my branches from the heat of summer days, to try as much as possible to replace your thorns.”

🌵And so Ivy came closer to Cactus. It was not an easy thing especially in the early months, but soon enough both plants were thriving in each other’s presence and care.