Air Plants + What They Teach Us About Belonging to the World
Recently, on a trip to New York City, I stepped into a coffee shop I had never been to in the East Village. Right when I walked in, I could feel the vibe of the place. Open-minded. Light hearted. Minimal. I liked the essence of it. The air was warm and smelled like black coffee. Just beyond the door, there were air plants within a square wooden frame.
Air plants, if you have never heard of them, get their nutrients from the air. They don’t need any soil to grow. They’re colored like succulents—pale green, deep blue, pinkish, purple—and varieties go by names like Xerographica, Tectorum, Bulbosa, Rubra, and Velutina. Air plants grow roots to anchor themselves, but if you trim them off, they won’t miss them.
Air plants make do with where they are—they use what they’ve got. As if like magic, they’re just...there.
As humans, we’re in a world of constant motion. Of updates. Of feeds. Of buying this. Of getting that. Trends of “self-help” and “anti-aging” have us trained to focus on where we are going and where we “need to be.”
What happens when you ask yourself this question: Where am I right now?
Looking at those baby air plants, I saw them as a reminder we don’t need much to thrive. I felt just where I needed to be.
As you read this, focus on where you are right now. Don’t seek anything else. Use what you’ve got.
Just be where you are now.
Just be who you are now.
(And just like that—you belong to the world.)
About the Author
Erin Pesut is a writer based in North Carolina. As the previous editor at City View Magazine, she also received her Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in fiction from Columbia University in New York and a B.A. in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. In addition to her love of reading and writing, Erin is also deeply passionate about health and wellness and works as an educator with Beautycounter, an education-first company based out of California. She lives in Fayetteville with her husband and their dog, Teddy.