A Lesson from Masipag the Succulent

A couple of months ago, a rat attacked our balcony garden of succulents. It may have been more than one rat but with the damage it did to some of our plants, we think it was just one rodent sneaking in at night to nibble on our juicy plants.

We are slowly filling up our balcony with a growing number cacti and succulents and we've named most of them. Others we have pet names like "Sadness" for the droopy one and "Pechay" for the one that looks like, well, a pechay.


We also have a Frailea grahliana which we call "Masipag" (industrious) because it continuously produced seed pods, its seeds we have successfully sown.

That's a blurry photo of Masipag
sporting a budding seed pod in the middle.
Sadly, that horrid rat attacked Masipag, stole its seed pod, and gnawed at it, leaving a nasty crater at its center. Djop and I were very sad (and infuriated!) when we saw what happened to one of our favorite succulents...

The rat took a large chunk out of Masipag...
It also took bites out of our first Astrophytum asteria...
The rat also "tasted"our other plants, even the spiny cacti but those damages were nothing compared to Masipag's. Those cactus spines really work!

So we took some steps to prevent and deter any future rat attacks on our plants, including placing a mosquito net over our plant shelf every evening.

Day time
Night time
Eventually, after a couple more unwanted visits from the rat (as evidenced by pee, scattered pebbles, and some damaged leaves here and there), the attacks finally stopped. 

We left Masipag and the asteria alone and hoped they would callous and recover from their damage. We weren't so hopeful though... their "wounds" have already dried up but Masipag stopped producing seed pods. 

But it turns out that Masipag was a fighter. After some time, from the fringes of the damage the rat caused, small buds started to grow. Here is Masipag now...

How many buds can you count? We count 4!!!
So now, everyday when I check our plants, I smile when I pick up Masipag and inspect the fast-growing baby fraileas flourishing from its wound. I guess this experience has reminded me of that famous quote from Rumi: "The wound is the place where the light enters you." In Masipag's case, the wound was where new life began.

At this point in time, it is a lesson much appreciated. We face many bad and problematic situations, but in those negative events, good things, even better things, can emerge and grow.