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Unexpected Green Beacon

19 July 2008


Unexpected planting success

Originally uploaded by GirlWriter

While going through my mother’s “important paper bag” (don’t we often have this: a purse, and then a second bag we carry that has our Things We Absolutely Must Do Something About This Week papers in them? No? Just me? Oh well), I found…a bag of seeds. A file of income tax information, a new 2008 appointment book, a print-out of her schedule for the week, various bills and other paperwork, and seeds.

My mother loved to garden. I remember weekends of digging in the dirt with her (but getting bored quickly) and watching her weed out the azaleas in our front yard.  She loved spring; she loved flowers; she loved watching her yard bloom all over again.  Her kitchen has a wall of windows in the breakfast nook, and when she was alive these were filled with aloe plants, cuttings, cacti in bloom — a whole wall of living things. After she died, my sister and I each took an aloe plant, and another relative took some geranium cuttings.  I may put some of her roses into the yard at our house, but I am definitely not the gardener she was.

Anyway, the seeds. I suspect they were swag from one of the conferences she attended, and she planned to plant them inside last winter. I wasn’t sure what to do with them, especially because I do not have a green thumb. At best, my thumb is yellow; sometimes, it is brown. For Mom’s aloe plant, my thumb is yellowish-green, with a few brown spots, and a generally crumpled look. Finally one day I re-potted the poor thing, only to discover a week or so later that the pot I’d used (glazed) and the soil I’d put inside (regular) were probably doing more harm than good.

After re-re-potting (about which perhaps more later) I had left over a glazed pot and some nice Miracle Gro potting soil inside. As I looked at the potted soil, a strange idea began unfurling in the back of my head: pot…soil…seeds…surely we can make something of this…

So I dropped the seeds in the soil, watered them, and forgot about them. I pretty much assumed they wouldn’t sprout, because the package looked really old and, as I said, the thumb’s not so good.

But just a few days later they sprouted. It felt like an absolute miracle. Which, of course, seeds turning into plants always is: the miracle of something entirely new and alive, where a season before it was brown and inert.

Thanks, Mom.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    21 July 2008 5:43 pm

    I just stumbled upon this post while reading your other guest blogging. I am so glad the seeds sprouted. No coincidence! 🙂 Thinking o f you.
    love, meg

  2. girlwriter permalink*
    21 July 2008 6:45 pm

    Thanks! I’m especially pleased that they’re still alive since the aloe plant’s looking grimmer by the day…

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