Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parallels of my porch

My mom is the typical "grandma gardener" (minus the fact that she hasn't reached her 50th birthday yet).  She loves nothing more then to toil around the yard each evening pruning, clipping, and potting. Her mother  also kept about a hundred thriving plants in her living room window at all times. I myself, did not inherit that particular gene in my thumb.

 1/100,000th of my grandma's window jungle 

I've tried kinda-sorta-hard for the past three years to keep a very minimal potted garden on my porch. In California this was a year-long task that I failed miserably at. I even resorted to several small cacti on one occasion- and managed to kill them all off as well (I think it all goes back to my theory about how my brain works. Please refer to the second listed bullet point. Flowers have to be watered more then just 85% of the time). BUT, once we moved to the midwest I was able to focus my horticulture talents into a seven month growing season. One afternoon early in the summer season I picked out a whole onslaught of yellow flowers from the grocery store greenhouse. I don't even know what type of flowers they are. They are just simple and yellow and perfect.

The flowers themselves were nothing breathtakingly beautiful, but I put them in cheerfully colored pots and planted plastic pinwheels throughout them. When I pulled into my parking spot the fist thing I would see straight ahead was my happy little porch. For the first time I had remained diligent about watering and caring for my flowers. My mom even noticed my tiny success and somehow thought I was ready to take care of a giant beautiful Calla Lily plant. 

Within a few days I noticed that the Calla Lilies were not  blooming yellow like their tag had indicated. Instead, they were pale violet with some traces of yellow in the base of each bloom. I was slightly disappointed because I had been expecting the Willy Wonka candy-yellow Lilies that I had in my wedding.

Then, at the peak of summer blooming, my world came crashing down. My husband was brutally honest with me (for perhaps, the first time in our marriage). The events that have transpired have reinvented my entire perception of reality. The very basic things in my life have not been as I perceived them. During this initial phase I spent a week away from home. When I returned I found that all of my simple, happy, yellow flowers were dry and withered. I felt exactly the same way. The thick green Calla Lily stems slowly broke off one-by-one and rotted. 

After a few days of intense numbness I picked myself up and made another trip to the grocery greenhouse. I was too stubborn to let my life get in the way of my first successful garden. I picked out another batch of simple flowers but this time they were all violet. It was therapeutic to tear the old yellow flowers into compost for my mother's garden. Good to create nourishing fertilizer from something so void of love and moisture. I dusted off the pinwheels and reset them amongst their new plum-hued friends. 

Now when I pull the car into my spot I see my porch and the mirror it holds to my life. I'm no longer blinded by my own happiness. I'm not yellow anymore, but I'm a beautiful shade of purple. Yellow and purple are complimentary colors on the color-wheel. When complimentry colors are placed next to each other they make each other appear brighter, more intense. Without purple seasons in my life I would never fully enjoy the intenseness of my yellow seasons. Somewhere in my future my life will be like my Calla Lily plant; pale violet that bleeds into a soft yellow. 


Anonymous said...

This one was so deep...and perfect. It gave me that little lump in my throat that I had to choke back down. Your writing is so passionate and brilliant. It really touches the heart! I am 100% serious when I say you should write a book one day! Seriously! It'd be a best seller!


Crystal said...

I completely agree with Robyn. That was so beautiful.