Lessons in the Sago Palm
Well, my mother-in-law, Loretta, has had a couple of Sago Palms on her porch for several years of the time that I have known her. However, it wasn't until I had one of my own while living down in New Orleans that I was able to observe how it grows/produces new growth.
Prior to this time of new growth (which I observed in April 2009 and wrote this at that time), I have only known this plants "fronds" to be sharp, pointed, and painful to be poked by ("They'll put you're eye out." as your mama always said), though they are beautiful and long and a deep, shiny green when healthy.
However, this spring (of 2009) I noticed some short (about 12 inches tall), light tan-ish growths in a cluster in the center of the old growths.
Within only a few days, these growths grew taller/longer and turned a nice light green. Even more interesting, they opened up a little as compared to before and began to resemble their older fore-runners.
In contrast to the older, established ones, these new growths were very soft-to-the-touch and even curled up, rather than straight/sharp/pointy.
Over the next few days they opened up more and became more straight and began to even more resemble their older fore-runners - - - - -
-----However, their look being so similar was misleading, because they were still very soft-to-the-touch and were even not yet pointy nor painful at the very tips like their older cousins. Now, (as I was writing this) a few weeks into this progression, they are becoming more firm and rigid and truly blend in with their forerunners.
The lesson I saw in this...
We are often like the Sago Palm.
We start out curled up (literally, in fetal position in the womb), and we are soft, tender, and gentle.
Slowly, over time, we begin to open up though we still remain soft, tender, and gentle - for the most part.
However, after prolonged exposure to this world and its elements, we often begin to become hard, rigid (cynical), even defensive and unapproachable and/or untouchable to the point of inflicting pain if approached too closely or touched.
Something is to be said for life-lessons as well as establishing ourselves, at times. However, we need to be careful to not be like the Sago Palm and allow ourselves to develop into these hard, defensive, unapproachable people who stay that way and never change.