Grow Baby Grow

I have had some of these plants for over 20 years. Some of them are potted, that I have transported, move after move. Some I have planted and dug up, over and over, as I have moved here and there across Georgia and then to Texas. I have carried them in cars, trucks, boxes, paper wet paper towels, pots, and by hand, one by leafy one. They have traveled over state lines, county roads, cite streets, and private driveways. And some are even being kept, watered and loved by friends until I can bring them back home. I have dug them up, repotted and transplanted more times than i can count.

But they all have significance because they were given to my by my mother. And I will always carry them with me, no matter how far. I obsess over them a little, because they were hers and have been passed to me. Some she gave me herself, handing them to me when I first moved out of the house. She said i needed some plants to keep and warm up the place. And some were taken from her greenhouse after she passed away, the ones that had not already died from neglect when she was so sick and could not take care of them.

And some were taken out of her many gardens, after I saw that the yard man was mowing over everything because they were too much to take care of. So I went through her gardens, on my hands and knees, and dug up as many bulbs as I could to save them. I planted them all, they grew, then i gave them away to family, as they loved her and her flowers too. And now there are many more flowers, in gardens of those she loved, across Georgia and Florida.

All total I used to have over 50 house plants, and about 130 of her bulbs. And now, after the move to Texas, I have about 8 houseplants and 12 bulbs. I had to give many away, to family and a few friends, or it would have taken another semi to move everything.

And so it is a bit of a celebration when any of them bloom. My heart smiles as I inspect the delicate blooms and tender leaves. I make sure to water and keep just the right amount of sun. It takes work, but it is worth it.

So imagine my delight when I stepped outside this morning for my regular cup of coffee…to see three wonderful plants she gave me blooming? Her favorite daylilies, which I thought the freeze had killed, the Christmas cactus she gave me many years ago, and the pineapple plant that has never produced fruit in 7 years finally has one coming in.

And I smile. Because it is as if she knows that I am happy here. It is as if she knows this is where new roots are growing. That this place, with these people, are where my home is now. And she is smiling at me. Each flower that blooms feels like a little hug from her, as she reaches down from the sunshine to touch my face and warm my heart.

Life is short. Plant the garden, nurture it and enjoy what comes to fruition. because a garden, just like everything in life, requires love and care and work. But it is s=oh so worth it. For the memories you create and the love that you keep. And so I look at the flowers, and my life and whisper “Grow baby, grow.”