My favorite color is green. If you’ve ever met me at all, you ought to know that. I have a green purse, green dresses, green pajama pants, green cowboy boots, green ballet flats, my wedding shoes were green, my eyes are green, my car is green. My thumbs, however, are decidedly not green despite the tireless efforts of Grandma, whose thumbs are so brilliantly green her front yard looks like a jungle, in a good way.
Every year or so, Grandma sends me a plant that she’s certain I am fully capable of caring for. She doesn’t know that I was once asked by a neighbor to remove the potted plant from my front porch because it “looked like dead seaweed” and was “an eyesore.” But with each year, I get a little better at not brutally murdering the plants. And now, (believe it or not) some of them are actually doing quite well.
Last spring, Grandma gave me an Asiatic Lily. I kept it on the back patio, watered it when I remembered to, and mostly forgot that it existed…until one day, the green leafy sprig that was totally uninteresting the day before, was a bright pink flower in full bloom. It caught me completely and utterly off guard. A sneak attack. A surprise flower.
I ooh-ed and ahh-ed and showed it to anyone who came by the house. I was so impressed that a flower had bloomed under my watch – despite my watch.
Since we’re now living in an apartment, the Asiatic Lily has become indoor plant, sitting on a small table in front of our living room window. Last week sometime, I noticed it had a little green bud on one of the stems. The next day, it was a slightly bigger little green bud. Another couple of days passed and the little green bud looked a little pink at the top. A day or two later it looked very pink at the top. Is this pokey little flower ever going to bloom? I wondered. Out loud. And often. But no, it took it’s sweet time. Until yesterday morning. It opened just a little. And this morning? It opened a lot.
I rejoiced at having not killed an indoor plant. More so, I rejoiced that Rufus had not eaten the indoor plant. Trey, on the other hand, was less than thrilled. He knew that a blooming lily in the house meant that there was lots of active pollen floating around. Since I don’t have an allergy to pollen, I have a difficult time empathizing. After all, this was a miracle, and it was happening right under our noses!
I like to think I’m like that pokey little flower. I’ve always been jealous of my friends who’ve already found their carreer path. The teachers who knew their calling when they were still in college, the wedding photographer who quit her job to pursue her dream, the people who know what they want to do and then do it. For the most part, vocationally, I feel like a kindergartener: When I grow up I want to be an actress, I want to be a lounge singer, I want to be a famous novelist, I want to be a construction worker, I want to be…
Trey, I told you your health and happiness was more important than the health and happiness of any flower. Which is why I picked off all the pollen tips and wiped it clean with a damp paper towel. And if that kills the pokey little flower, I’ll only be a little sad.
One of these day’s I’m gonna bloom. And I can only hope that some very loving person will take whatever poisonous pollen I may unintentionally give off and wipe it clean so that my blooming will only bring joy to those around me…