Out of words and still groggy, I look at the plants on my desk and notice new stems and leaves. At first, this shocks me, but then, I realise things grow even when you’re not looking. Then, I sip my coffee nonchalantly and pretend this moment to be of little significance. But it is; it is of much significance after all. We are rarely proud of ourselves.
The other day, I met a friend I hadn’t seen in a while for coffee in the evening, and we talked about how our lives had fared—the good and the bad—since we last met. As he talked, I could not help but lose myself in a separate thought: that I’ve known him for a decade. Then, I began doing a mental inventory of the people in my life and how much time had passed since I met them. It occurred to me that there were many people I had known for a decade or more. Of course, this was irrelevant. Time has nothing to do with how much you adore someone; neither should we think of it this way. But the thought was comforting, and an intricate web of these years, these events was woven right in front of me.
I believe this does not happen immediately, but at some point in life, you sit and look at things, and you realise a lot of time has passed since your earliest memory. There is so much you remember, so much you do not remember, and so much you have deliberately forgotten. The passing of time ceases at this moment. From then on, it will not matter how many more years have passed. Be that as it may, things will continue to grow, and they will continue to change. It will all happen whether we look at them or not. It is how growth happens: hidden in plain sight.
One day, you walk by some unnoticeable plant, and in a few years, there is a tree there. You did not see it growing. It only happened.