There’s a common trans experience of wishing you could see your future self, the self you want to be. This experience blossoms, over time, into the earnest wish that you could send your younger self a message in a bottle telling them how everything will change, and who they will become.
Watering a Flower by Lily Belmira is a perfect encapsulation of both sides of this experience, at once presenting a small, safe place for her younger self to seek out the wisdom and reassurance of her older self, nurturing them with kindness, understanding, and hope, while also allowing the older side of herself to reflect upon the events of her past and reify all of those precious memories eked away by time or necessity.
Lily has crafted a wonderful narrative about the reflection on one’s experience with growing up trans, beautifully grafted with excerpts from her diary of various touchstone events throughout her life. While everything isn’t perfect, and there are musings and remembrances of darker times, of sadder spots, even these are presented as hopeful reminders that this too shall pass.
Being trans is, in many ways, a process, one that never ends, for being trans is being human, and being human is to run, to stumble, to pick ourselves back up, dust ourselves off, acknowledge our mistakes and the mistakes of those around us, and move towards becoming the person we truly wish to be. Much like a flower, our growth may be slow, we may bloom at different times, but with a sprinkling of water, some care, and the odd conversation along the way, there’s the surety that no matter what, we’re moving towards that wondrous blossoming one step at a time.
Watering a Flower does exactly what it says. It provides an oftentimes all too seldom ray of hope, a reflection of light onto the process, and the reassurance that even if things don’t always get better, we will. If you’re trans, or queer, or questioning, you too may find a small bright spot in this secret garden, a place to breathe, and think, and talk. And though our views and beliefs may change over time, through the experiences Lily presents, many of us will be able to see ourselves in part if not in whole, and together, we may just find the sprinkling of hope and ray of sunshine we need. So please, take a breather, and give it a try.
Mx. Medea is a writer, artist, and editor who spends most of their time drawing things with squares and buried under a small pile of endless paper copy. When not working they can be found playing everything from interesting indie fare to oldschool games. You can find them, their art, and their opinions @Mx_Medea on Twitter.