Insightful and spiritual thoughts on everyday life related to the natural world, accompanied by photographs and artwork by the author.
Friday, August 13, 2010
I’d only intended to find a shortcut through town, avoid the traffic, maybe save some time. As often happens, however, my good intentions came to naught - I ended up stuck anyway, waiting to make a left hand turn into heavy traffic. Coming out of a back road , the intersection had no traffic light, so I was stuck for a bit. So much for saving time.
If I hadn’t been delayed, I probably never would have looked down at the roadway beside my car. As it was, I did, and so I noticed it lying there all dusty and ragged. Something about it intrigued me, so - no other cars being behind me - I backed up a little, opened the door and grabbed it. “How nice.” I thought. “One of those realistic-looking silk plants. Must have fallen out of someone’s car or been dropped by one of those companies that furnish businesses with a lot of fake plants for atmosphere.” It wasn’t very large and was missing a pot, but I figured I could make use of it somehow, so tossed it onto the floor in the back seat.
Eventually, I found a break in the traffic, made the turn and went on my way. I had other stops to make, so it was some time before I returned home. By then the car was sweltering inside as it was summer and a beautiful, sunny day. Iced tea sounded like a great idea.
It wasn’t until the next day that I remembered the silk plant. Bringing it into the kitchen and rinsing it off in the sink I discovered something strange. It was not silk. It had no pot and no roots - looking as though someone had just whacked it off at pot level - but it was a living thing. I caught myself wondering “why?” and “how?” I had no idea what kind of plant it was nor if it could survive such treatment, but it was not totally gone, so I decided not to toss it. I re-cut the bottom with a sharp clean knife and set the it in a glass of water. Many weeks passed and the darn thing just sort of hung on. It didn’t root, but neither did it die. I felt it deserved a chance, so I played the waiting game with it.
One day, I did notice some pale, fragile strands in the glass. Gradually, the number and size of them increased and the day came when I carefully planted my “Orphan Annie” in a pot with real soil. It continued to grow and thrive in the corner window of the kitchen where I could watch it and marvel at its nearly miraculous revival.
The ragged, dirty, sad silk that I chanced to find that summer day was a 10 inch weakling. Today, it stands a proud 84 or so inches tall and shows no signs of slowing down. I’ve since learned it is a Dracaena - well known for being tolerant of poor growing conditions - so I take no credit for its growth. All that I did was give it a chance and wait to see. I did so hope ...