Friday, January 6, 2012

Plant life

Two years ago, I had nothing alive in my house but mammals. I have, spur-of-the-moment, purchased the occasional Sacrificial Aloe Plant over the years, but I haven't really had any plants, long-term since moving into this house over 8 years ago. There have been flowers (vased) and maybe some gifts of plants that didn't last long, but really nothing else.

My mom had a Green Arm. There were plants EVERYfuckinWHERE in our house: living room, dining room, her & dad's bedroom, kitchen.... Huge plants, small ones, baby pots, washtub-sized pots. She repotted and gave away and farmed out and otherwise had a whole greenhouse worth of plants in the world. Meanwhile...I had a cactus garden in my room as a teen. Killed 'em (too much water). I had plants in my dorm room--the ones that were my responsibility died; my roommates' thrived. Beast had a large aloe plant in his lab cube at his first job; it came in handy when burns happened (it was a lab, after all). When he changed jobs and brought home the plant, I killed it.

Anyway, I got tired of killing plants about 10 years ago.

Then, in 2009, Amy gifted me a plant cutting from one of her stock, which I guess I'll call Mit (a variant of what the picture shows). She also gifted me explicit directions on watering Mit. I have repotted it (him?) once, and it continues to grow in spite of a slight change in watering that works better in my head. She recently entrusted me with the offspring of her giant Bob Marley cactus--mine is named Rohan--again with pretty explicit watering directions. So far, it isn't dead, probably because I think I've watered it exactly once in about two months. Two people who came to the library's Christmas party here last month brought poinsettias. The big one is out-of-control happy, though the small one seems a little off. I got the gift of a couple of small plants for helping at church last year sometime and they are also still alive: I water them when I water Mit.

Last week another of my best friends sent me, out of the blue, a gift of 3 bamboo shoots. I had to put them together (this cracked me up--a gift I have to build=total awesome!). Today's the first day to change the water for them

My dining room looks like my mom's house. Maybe that's part of why I have been missing her this past week: all this greenery. So unlike me. So like Mom. I can only hope her spirit is hanging around to remind me to pay attention to all these critters. Because, in spite of receiving my Grandmother's decades-old Christmas cactus (and killing it) 20 years ago, I haven't really been invested in any plants before. The death of these guys has a deeper metaphorical meaning. Maybe that's why Mom was able to keep hers going so long.

We'll see.

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