It might be a bit melodramatic to associate so much meaning to a plant, but this one deserves it.
This spider plant came into my life in the spring of 2018. I had just gone through a breakup and had to go to an event by myself for the first time in a long time. Even though the words “fresh out of a breakup” weren’t Sharpied onto my face, it felt like maybe people can sense my sadness, or perhaps they can tell that I was out of place. It’s just nice to have someone with you at an event to act as an awkwardness buffer, ya know? But like most overanalyzed situations, no one noticed that I was out of place, and I somehow ended up enjoying myself.
So the event was the “Grow Op,” which took place at the Gladstone Hotel. It happens annually, and artists get to take over the rooms and hallways and fill it with environment-centric installations. Each art piece was eye-catching in its own right, and I ended up getting engulfed with reading each description and walking through all the rooms. If you want to see what some of the art installations looked like, check out this cool review by Toronto Life.
The one installation that resonated with me the most and has left a literal mark in my life was “Mother Ship + Spider Girl” by Doug Donald, Claire Ironside, and Ruth Spitzer (aka Eureka League). There was a mature spider plant suspended in the middle of the room with additional spider babies in florist tubes displayed. There was also a person dressed as "Spider Girl" who walked around with a tray of spider plant babies and care instructions to gift to visitors. You can read more about this installation on Ruth Spitzer’s site. And that’s how I’ve come to own this spider plant. You can see that it has reached "Mother Ship" status and has many babies of its own.
So, I didn’t become confident to attend events independently then and there, but it was a clear marker of my healing process. Through my research and experience, I learned that spider plants are the best at cleaning interior air, and it’s super easy to take care of. Ruth’s page also mentions that owning and tending to a house plant is a way to help us with productivity and healing. Two things that I wanted to work on post-breakup. It's cool to see how far I've come and this plant is a physical display of that. Seeing this plant everyday is also a gentle reminder that we are more resilient than we think.
Now that my plant is producing babies of its own, who wants a meaningful offspring?