Sunday, February 12, 2006

The most resilient plant in the world lives right outside my apartment door. Last year, when I moved into my own place I decided it was time to get a planter out front with something alive in it. My reasons were split - first of all, I simply wanted one because everyone else in my complex has one. I felt the need to prove myself as a nurturer. Second, I figured everything grows in California and there's plenty of sun. Surely I can nurture a plant in this environment. Can't I? So I purchased a hydrangea. It had beautiful pink blooms last Spring and was even the talk of my apartment complex. . . ok, that's not true. (I'm pretty sure people have more pressing issues on their minds than whether or not the new girl's hydrangea blooms are going to make it through the summer...things like when are Brad and Angelina going to get married? or what's going to happen on the next riveting issue of 24?) I was faithful to water it and make sure it survived. When I spent a month overseas last summer, my landlord watered it and the blooms welcomed me home from India and Turkey. Then, I headed off to Texas for a couple of weeks, asking my friend Bekah to take the reins on the watering. When I came back in two weeks, all the blooms were gone and the dirt was so dry it seemed obvious Bek forgot to hydrate. All that work. All that attention. Dashed in two week's time. (I've forgiven Bekah, by the way.)

So I started the path of recovery for my hydrangea. I watered. I waited. But the pink blooms never returned. Ever. Soon I just stopped watering it because I saw no sign of life. Soon the kids in my complex used the dirt as a trash receptacle for their various candy wrappers. (though I never caught them in the act I knew it was them...) By December, I thought, "well, the pot it still good...when Spring comes, I'll just start all over...." All seemed lost for my pink hydrangea...

This story does have a redemptive theme. I'm getting there. Two weeks ago I saw a speck of green on one of the bare brown stems. From the speck, my hydrangea now has several leaves sprouting! I'm hoping by March the pink blooms will return. I'm committed to nursing it back to health and watering it. No more negative thoughts about salvaging the pot. No more entrusting the precious (soon-to-be blooms) to those who aren't as vested in the growth process. No more letting those kids at my complex throw their Starburst and Blow Pop wrappers in the pot. They'll see. Soon they won't even be able to see the dirt because the blooms will be exploding all over leaving no room for careless trash. Just wait. And see how resilient this little hydrangea can be!

1 comment:

Glo said...


Glad to hear things are going well for you in Cali! I really enjoy reading you blog!