Posts Tagged ‘petunias’

If I were to write about petunias I would be writing about my mother. She grew them in these narrow wooden raised beds my father made for her. It was easy for us to go out near dusk and pick the spent blooms. I think it was a pleasant activity for her. So each time I walk past this container and the others in the yard, I stoop to look for blossoms to pick and I think of her with a smile.

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Back in October I wrote about the unexpected success in growing a potted petunia in the house.  I imagined photographing white blossoms against the kitchen window with snow falling in the background. Will that come to pass?  Well, recently after cutting away all the dead and dying pieces only one green stem remained on the petunia plant.  Nothing else.  I considered letting it go, but what harm was there in continuing to water that stem.  And then one day it bloomed.  A single bloom on a single stem on a mostly barren patch of ground.  I guess there must be some good roots beneath that soil.

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It has been a hard month, a hard summer, a hard year, for so many family and friends.  I read their words and hear their voices, and all I have been able to do, in the end, is absorb and listen.   On occasion I have been able to touch, to hug, and to encourage others to take such action.  Sometimes I have offered words of advice but I am beginning to think that, for the most part, those words of advice could be a song or poem or a passage from a book.  The words from my mouth are not so important as is my literal or figurative presence.  I am lucky to have them in my lives as well.

Despite the title of this post, I do not feel at the center of it all, whatever “it” may be.  As a writer, photographer, storyteller, I feel on the periphery, observing the chaos of life from odd angles that reveal ambiguities, sadness, horror, pain but almost always, great beauty, too.  When I talk with the friends and family who are struggling I find myself wishing … and then I stop myself.  I cannot live other peoples’ lives, but I can and often do ask them, “Without ignoring all that’s going wrong, what is going right? What’s one thing making you happy?”  One lovely friend will have a tendency to say, “Well, at least my cat is not dead … yet.”  And I’ll say, “Exactly!” 😉

These are the rambling thoughts that come to mind this Sunday morning as I hold close in my heart those who may be feeling a bit alone or vulnerable or just unsure of next steps.  I certainly feel that way about some things too.  And with that said, what is one thing making me happy at this moment?  It is the morning sun falling upon this apple creating a little apple universe.  At least I see the stars.

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I did not think the petunias would grow indoors.  I thought they’d bloom for a short while and then fade away, but somehow they have lasted the summer and now bloom confidently into the fall.

They have outlasted the basil, thyme and mints.

They soak up the sun near the hardier herbs – the oregano, sage and rosemary.  The plant’s white flowers shade the poinsettia that is still bright green and the stellar red garden mum, a hostess gift still hanging on.

I think I have tried to grow petunias indoors before with little luck.  They are a complex flower for me, not my favorite and yet I can’t help but think of them as my mother’s plant.

She grew them in wooden boxes and converted tires that my father made and arranged in the yard for her.  We shall see if this plant thrives into the winter months.  Not to rush time, but I can’t wait to see the white blooms against the window with snow falling down.

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