Wednesday, August 19, 2009

MOURNING MY PLANT

Be green! I am green! I have a "green thumb." I conserve water, paper, and use the swirly energy-saver bulbs, even though they don't illuminate reading material as well as old fashioned bulbs do. And of course I recycle.

Oh dear, alas ... my poor skimpy, droopy jade plant sitting on the bench in my hallway, under the bright fluorescent in the ceiling -- it's going, going, not quite gone -- I can't throw it out! Small, not exceptional, special, or beautiful even in its youth, this plant -- for more than three-hundred-sixty-five days I've given it some dew with my sprayer, and said hello! (That's me -- I greet favorite things in the morning.)

Actually, sweet potato plants are what I love, but sweet potatoes in NYC are invariably banged and bruised. (When they're trucked into town, they're probably thrown into the bushel baskets.)

Of course, I examine each potato carefully at the store. But when I put six under my table, with tooth picks suspending them in jars of water, I may get one or possibly two that will sprout after three weeks in the dark.

Store-bought plants, even ones from the Union Square farmers' market ... ridiculously over-priced. I won't do it! I can afford it, but the days when I was poor have scarred me -- not with a "red A" over my heart -- with a C (for cheapskate).

When JC brings me flowers, I'm delighted, and the next day, upset, knowing they'll soon be wilting, not wanting to see them droop, and start the watching process -- the checking, then postponing with an aspirin and fresh water, their inevitable demise.

Fish in my three fish tanks have always, invariably turned into woe. Though I kept the tanks under-populated, and mothered, fed carefully, and cleaned the tanks, fishes go -- TOO soon they die. In my own, inimitable way, I created interesting, artistic driftwood arrangements for the tank interiors, but keep the lavender lights out -- I still find myself remembering "George the Koi, and Goldy, my year-old goldfish.

Birds? Fran my friend, web designer and blog coach, lost a bird last week -- a sweet friend who perched on her head, and ate from her hand -- a beloved pet whom she found five years ago on the ground, and nurtured.

I'm not sure I could face it -- a real living creature ... I'll think on about it -- New York City air, the noise, the unexpected things that happen with our heat ... oh dear ....

I'll just keep hovering over my poor jade plant. And on my way to the grocery store, I'll look for something very hardy -- a geranium -- I'd love a bunch of them in that old green pot ... maybe I'll plant a bulb - - - - - - - - - >

I'll settle for cactus.

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