Sunday, May 27, 2007
I have always been a plant person. I love fresh cut flowers, and house plants filling the rooms of my home. Plants lining the window sills, the trailing greenness of life hanging down the sides of the windows, the soft glow of sunlight filtering through those leaves. At different times in my life, I have had them filling the windows, filling the corners of each room that allowed even the smallest amount of light to sustain them, in essence an attempt by me, to bring the outdoors in. Rooms when filled with plants, seem to have a softer, more alive feel to them. The ambiance of each room is cheerier, cleaner, fresher, comfort giving.
In the tending of them, I have always taken pride in their health, feeling as if they reflected the health of my home environment itself. They do, or did. As my life changed, my plants changed, as my life became filled with negativity, the growth and vitality of my plants reflected their lack of nurturing. Month after month, year after year, the supply of plant life inside my home slowly diminished, from lack of proper care, from inattention. Slowly, ever so slowly, the life force of my home seemed to disappear into an oblivion of leaves brown and curled at their edges, of overgrown root-packed nutrient poor soil. Stems shrinking, and withering, until one day, my gaze would fall upon another dying plant, a sadness would well up inside me, one more, one more would have died because I had not tended it with care. I had not given it even the minimum dose of water to fill its basic life needs. A symbol of the state of my mind and heart.
In addition to the inside of my home being filled with the greenery of life, the outside was the same. I had beds of perennials, each one chosen because of the unusual color, the shape or texture of its leaves, the scent or shape of its blooms, or because of the insect and bird life it would draw. Each spring and summer season I added one or two new plants to my gardens, along with a filler of annuals. Summer before last, I also noticed a color theme amongst these much-loved gardens of mine. Many of the blossoms that filled the beds, were rich shades of purple, lavender, or blue. Here and there would be accents of yellow, white, or various shades of pink, but those colors in the blue spectrum seemed to predominate. I never cared to know why, I do know by late July, my flower beds were always filled with color, bright with insect life and birds, always bringing something new to delight my senses. I almost always was filled with small doses of serenity, and comfort in the evenings as I stood watering these beauties that colored my surroundings, that lined my small garden pond, that framed the entrance to my home. But, last summer, and the summer before, I also noticed something else. It became an effort to keep them watered, it was an effort to keep them weeded, and dead-headed. The love had fled from my heart, and my gardens reflected it.
My heart is opened again, ready to feel the force of life. I want, perhaps even need to express that in the plants and flowers I grow and nurture.
My new home, one house plant, one vase of fresh cut flowers, no pots lining the decks, no beds bursting forth with bloom.
I ache to return to my old home, and begin digging in the soil, to gently separate the roots, to carefully remove a small sample of each plant, and bring it here to live, grow, and thrive. Why do I feel as if I have no right to do just that?