Two Peas in a Pod

In a recent LinkedIn post, Ali Anani wrote:

“One example is two peas in a pod are close together.  Two brothers may seem as the two peas in the pod but hardly speak to each other being busy chatting with friends.  We can be very close in distance, but very far in hearts.  Are we living lives that two peas in a pod are no closer together?”

I sensed some wistfulness in these words. For a time when the two brothers were close and not distracted by the rest of the world. For hearts connecting.

Way back in history – 30+ years ago – I had some fairly small planter boxes hanging on the edge of my patio.  Most of my neighbors grew begonias and that was just not my thing. I put in some peas and broccoli, lettuce, and a couple of strawberry plants. You don’t get much of a harvest when the roots can’t go deeper than 4” into the ground, and Ali’s two peas in a pod reminded me of the pods on my plants. None had more than two peas. Some only had one.

Reading Ali’s post, I, too, sensed some wistfulness for a time gone by when I was young and naïve and optimistic and curious enough to try to plant peas and broccoli in a planter box, totally unsuited for the purpose. No attachment to outcome, whatsoever.  Only curiosity for whether it could be done.

When was the last time you did something with no investment in outcome?

What are peas?  They are the babies of pea plants.  They go into the ground and a pea shoot comes out.  A pea shoot is a pea plant kid.  The shoot grows into a teenager pea plant, and eventually, the adult pea plant sets flowers that hopefully, sometimes, not always, turn into pods with pea babies – and the process starts over.  No peas ever grow well in as close proximity to another as they are in the pod.

Do we really want to be like two peas in a pod? 

Is the wistfulness for intimacy?  Or for the innocence, the non-worrying about worldly things?  The care and love and being held we didn’t need to do anything to earn?

The answer is important because we can’t command anybody to hold us and care.  But if we let go of our shell, it is entirely within our power to build intimate, supportive, and trusting relationships.

We just shouldn’t fool ourselves that shelling is easy-peasy.


Charlotte Wittenkamp
Charlotte Wittenkamp
Charlotte Wittenkamp is an organizational psychologist who counsels international transfers, immigrants, and foreign students in overcoming culture shock. Originating from Denmark, where she worked in organizational development primarily in the finance industry, Charlotte has lived in California since 1998. Her own experiences relocating lead down a path of research into value systems and communication patterns. She shares this knowledge and experience through speaking and writing and on her website Many of these “learning experiences” along with a context to put them in can be found in her book Building Bridges Across Cultural Differences, Why Don’t I Follow Your Norms?. On the side, she leads a multinational and multigenerational communication training group.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE


  1. I had two mixed feelings reading your lovely post, Charlotte.

    Feeling happy for my post inspired you to write this post and sorry for making you feel wistfulness. However, I continued reading your post I felt relieved and even elevated.

    One great thought that you mentioned is “No peas ever grow well in as close proximity to another as they are in the pod.”
    So even peas want distance space.

    No matter how close we get we still need to have our own privacy. This does not mean that we do not care for others. It actually calls for earning care by giving love to others. If we care and love others the distance is only a privacy zone that does not stop us for being humans who get what they give in return.

    • I am curious whether it indeed was wistfulness I read into your post, Ali?

      Research shows that friendships protects middle aged men against ailments more than having a spouse does and other research find it also tops family and children. Could it be that we choose friends and have to keep choosing them and make the effort of holding the friendship alive where family is taken more for granted? Like the pea too close in the pod?