Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My family and I went to Elevation Burger the other day, parking in the back. The burger place is part of the new downtown Hyattsville development so there are several empty locations and even some construction still going on. 

As we headed to the burger joint, we looked through the window of an empty business location - Suite 107. And what was inside was amazing. In fact, it's inspiring. Amid a space with a roof and a floor of small white rocks, is a plant that's at least six feet tall! Yes, a six foot tall plant inside a building where it doesn't get sunlight from directly above (there's a roof, remember?) It gets only sunlight from the windows. And I don't know how it gets water, because it's inside a building (maybe there's a leaky roof, or maybe the water table is high enough, when it rains, it soaks up up up into the rock bed, nourishing the plant).

Strangely, the bottom leaves are brown and withered looking. But the top of the plant is lush and green, with broad leaves that cling to the window where the sunlight is coming in.

It's an anathema, yet so inspiring because it reminds us that life blooms in the most unlikely places It reminds us that things survive despite the odds against them (the gravel covering up it's sunlight, the roof, the lack of water falling on it when it rains). It's wonderful to see something, not just do it, when the odds are so thoroughly stacked against it. I mean, this plant is six feet tall. I'm not six feet tall and I get water and sunlight everyday (without obstruction).

Whenever, I feel like the odds are against me in the future, I'll just think of that little --well, actually, I guess, big-- plant and how it managed to grow and get so big, despite the odds.

Here are some photos from my camera phone. I hope you can make out the plant with the glare. I probably should have stood next to it, so you can see how big it is, but believe me, it's taller than me. Or go take a look yourself (5501 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD).  There's an Elevation Burger, Yogi Castle and Chipotle Mexican Grill, if you're hungry after your trek. There's also a day spa, there.

 These are the seeds sprouting at the top of the plant.

This is a view from the other glass door of the building. It's sprouting right out of the gravel.

Here is  a picture of it through the glass, but there's a lot of glare and reflection. It's very tall.

-Hyattsville Mom

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