Sunday, 16 November 2014

Thought Picnic: The plant

Labours of reluctance
I am not as green-fingered as my father who in his professional prime left lucrative accountancy on an unfortunately doomed enterprise in farming, the first harvest was raided first by monkeys and what was left fell to mould.
Besides, as authoritarian patriarch long before his father died, he had a penchant of starting us off on some laborious earthy project and conveniently disappearing off for some more important activity. We noticed that sleight of hand long before and it probably informed how we sometimes distanced ourselves so as not to be enthused into another wild scheme.
The plant
I was given an orchid when I bought my home in Amsterdam, it needed careful tending and it only flowered annually, it was the plant.
The plant in some ways was something I desired, I was ready to invest in it for the pleasure of the bloom and so the tending began. The right flower pot, a place to put it to catch the sunlight, the watering done not to drown the plant, the soil sometime fertilised to nourish the plant and I waited.
Religiously, the tending became routine, as expectation grew, but the flowering and the pleasure came once, then the waiting for a second as the routine continued after which one hoped the season may shorten for a more frequently flowering.
I’m done
For all the hope, it began to look hopeless, there was no bud and no flower, the plant took the sun and the water, it was trimmed and pruned to the point that if it were possible one would pull out a flower like a magician pulls a rabbit out of a hat. All to no avail.
By the third year, I was tired of the orchid much as I have grown tired of the plant, this love interest that one is apparently trying to woo with all charm, concern and compassion is taking sunlight and water, and giving nothing back in the colour of nature. I am quite done with this, time for another plant, though maybe that is why I am not green-fingered, I'll place an order for Gardening for Dummies.


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