|Innocent of the privations of city life.|
And now it is autumn for sure. In Tiny Town, I have brought in the begonias and placed them on the broad, sunny window sill in the dining room, the window that looks onto the little walled brick patio where they grew so splendidly all summer in their big earthenware pots. There are only two small plants left in the apartment in the city, one rather sad looking aloe and a tropical of some kind that came from a cutting a neighbor gave me. I tend to be unreasonably sentimental about plants, and I feel badly that these two are still living alone in the apartment where I only go now for an hour or two each week to check things out and give these two stragglers a little water.
|Urban Plant Exile|
This June, as FF and I moved things out of the apartment and to Tiny Town, I brought the begonia with me, and clearly it thought it had died and gone to Heaven, for over the course of two summer months it has turned in a bodacious wild creature. It now sports huge, dark, glossy almond shaped leaves, and numerous fleshy red racemes covered with dark pink blossoms. In a couple of country months, the begonia went from being a weak city weed to being a well-fleshed, rainforest beauty.
I take special pleasure in my plant's story: Its start as a wilting, frost-struck cutting in a jelly glass, its survival from a certain urban death, its patient period of semi-wilted stasis in the city, and its recent phoenix-like rebirth in the country summer. This plant is joy and hope, and its greatness is now apparent. I am touched by the begonia, and so I can see that it is really myself I am seeing in it. By saving the begonia I saved myself. I know that these softly rolling hills, this air, this river, these sun dappled sycamore leaves outside my study window are all working their big medicine on me, making me stronger, glossier and more powerful. I have always wanted to supply an Ark to the weak, the lost, and the damaged. Has it been my way of telling the world that I needed an Ark myself to shelter me from my life's storms? From the terrors that afflicted me as a child and then, later, as an adult? The apartment in Sugar Hill was my Ark for a while, but now, I have found a better Ark. The plants come onboard.
This week, I got the good news that one of my songs is playing on a French radio station. I am amazed and delighted that the audience for my little song, heard before now by a half dozen people, has just exploded by tens of thousands. I am touched by this evidence of my own blossoming and I think that the Great Gardener is taking pleasure in me right now.