“A non-human story about the things we humans can learn from changes we do not want to make.”

Joelcy Kay | Editor |  Edge of Humanity Magazine



Written by Linda M. Wolfe


Dear Human,

            Allow me to tell you the story of my near demise as well as my transformation. First of all, I am a plant whose name is pronounced “kal-un-KOH-ee”. My native land is Madagascar. My near fatality started with an illness early one summer. My People referred to me as sickly. Yes, I suppose I had been dropping leaves and losing stems, but I couldn’t help it. Then came the unsightly white blotches.

            “Well, Kally,” my caretakers gently informed me, “we really think we should move you out to the shed for a while. We can’t have you contaminating our other plants.”

            Oh no, I really didn’t know what to expect. I’d never existed away from a climate controlled people dwelling. Would the shed bring intolerable conditions to my droopy branches? How could I survive out there? With a strong sense of foreboding, I felt I’d never be the same.

            Granted, I was a fraction of my former days. In my prime, my large pot burst with glorious blooms of yellow, orange and red. My People were awed with the beauty! But now? Well, I hadn’t produced a bud in who knows how long.

            Well, I thought to myself, I may as well get used to a new location. After all, I have no feet growing from the base of my roots. My people certainly did not want their other plants to catch my white blotches.

Out out damn spot!

            I was lonely and it seemed unusually quiet in the shed. I felt deserted. Then, I began meeting them.

            In my new location was a west facing window with plenty of afternoon sun. Sometimes the farm cat came up on the bench with me to sun himself. The sunbeams were lovely in that space. Did you know that cats can make this funny sound when they’re happy? I rather like the company of Cat. In fact, he told me a secret. He revealed to me that I would never again be the same. Was this cause for concern?

            Then, there were what My People call insects. These creatures would crawl all over me. My goodness, it tickled so much, it made me laugh!

            One fortunate day, I met little Tree Frog. He could crawl and hop anywhere he liked. In fact, sometimes he would even stick to the wall! How amazing to have such stick-to-itiveness!

            The nights were fascinating. Once in a while, the moon lit the dark skies. On occasion we would see these bright, joyful swooshes through the darkness. Cat called them shooting stars. Sometimes during the sleeping hours we would awaken to a loud chirping insect. Cat informed me it was Cricket and that she chirped simply because she couldn’t sleep. That feline loved pouncing upon crickets almost as much as he enjoyed batting my poor straggly stems!

            One day, I heard a new sound, rather like a fast fluttering. The sound maker was darting to and fro so quickly, it was sometimes hard to spot. Smart old Cat announced that I’d just met  Hummingbird. This flying master made a rather unique and contented sound.

            I was getting to enjoy being closer to the rhythms of nature. My stems were strengthening and boasting shiny green growth.

Home again, home again, tra-la-la!

            By fall, My People reclaimed me to the house, but alas, I still was quarantined from the other plants. I had to be in the basement!

            Okay, I do admit it. I truly was not perfect. My stems were getting a bit leggy. But, seriously, who does not love a long legged lady? At least I was in the finished part of the basement on a window ledge with a bit of indirect sun. Maybe I could grow to like it.

            It was a ground level window. Once in a while rabbits would hop up to peek at me! Deer and turkeys sometimes idled by. Even though I couldn’t hear the critters talk to me, this interesting visual interaction was better than upstairs.

            One and a half years after being relegated to the shed, my pot was filling with large, beefy stems. Then, My People noticed my new buds! They were ecstatic! Maybe it was best that I had tried to find a way to cope with my circumstances.

            I initially felt quite neglected when I was quarantined from the house to the shed, but I’m here to tell you that my own intuition, as well as Cat’s, was right. I was never the same after my quarantine.

             Even though you may find this hard to believe, here is what happened. I noticed that when something tickled me like the insects, I learned to laugh. I received the ability to purr like Cat when I was happy. In a contented state, I hummed like Hummingbird. If I wanted to grow healthy, I stuck to my purpose like Tree Frog sticks to the wall. If I couldn’t sleep, I would chirp like Cricket. When I was exploding with energy, I joyfully glowed like Shooting Star. Now granted, you may not be able to quite see or hear all these fabulous traits I learned and developed during quarantine. That’s okay, My People can’t either. You see, my new abilities are beyond the range of the sight and hearing of most humans. You may choose to “be-leaf” it or not.

            However, My People, and now you, can see the evidence of this delicious energy shooting up my stems. My People call them flowers.

Your plant friend,

Kally Kalanchoe


Copyright Linda M. Wolfe



Linda. M. Wolfe is a former art teacher turned blogger. Her life-changing view of the world was induced by their son’s lengthy pancreatic cancer illness and subsequent passing. She and her husband call the beautiful rolling hills of Southwest Iowa home.



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