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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Unexpected inspiration: watering can

watering can 3

When I moved into my first apartment in 1990 I had two plants. The green of the leaves brightened my days and lifted my soul. At the time I composed a lot of poetry and, as a nature lover, the plants seemed to fuel my creativity.

watering can 2Two years later I moved to a larger apartment with cathedral ceilings, eight-foot high windows and cabinets with the requisite space that plant owners covet. My plants, which by then numbered at least 12, flourished. I watered, fed and repotted them when needed; the few moments required to play with them were enough to take me away from the grind of full-time college, part-time working and single parenting of one very busy little girl (that would be Amber, now 21).

By the time I moved to Georgia, my vines were long and cumbersome to move, the pots heavy with soil and my tree (no, I don’t remember what kind) was tall enough to bend when put into the car. I left Upstate New York heading South in the middle of May and arrived in Georgia when it should have been warm and comfortable. It was, however, an unusually brisk and frosty evening. My plants caught a little chill and I lost quite a few. Of those that survived, I sadly watched leaves wilt and fall while branches died. I nursed and fed ‘til the threat passed and was left with about seven plants.

About 10 years ago I moved into a house, again with the wonderful above cabinet space, and kept up with my plants until my second pregnancy. This time, with two other “big people” in the house, I tired of pulling out a step stool, lugging me and my belly up to water plants, sliding the stool and doing it all over again about three times. The heavier the belly, the less I did it.

When the plants started to “disappear” the other big people questioned me saying, ‘but you love your plants.’ I, with a little twist of my neck and an arch of my back to emphasize the belly, said, ‘no one else is watering them even though they see I’m tired of climbing up there and the plants are dying.’ [Insert eye roll here.]

watering canThe baby who was in the belly is now 9 years old and I’ve just begun caring for plants again. The first is a beautiful money tree; easy to care for and quickly growing. The second one, I bought mid-summer, is a petite rose plant I call my happy day plant (I’ve written about it once before). It had three small, red roses when I bought it and has since bloomed again. It’s a little high need, but I’ve come to love the little thing. It’s beautiful and is also steadily growing.

I have been watering using a small cup, but recently bought an inexpensive watering can and the feeling of plant-loving euphoria washed over me. My brain felt the jolt of creative juices and the tweak of what nature does to my system.

It’s amazingly crazy how a simple, tan, plastic receptacle made to water household plants has fueled these memories. It also eliminated my reasons excuses for getting more plants. No, the lighting isn’t ideal where I live now, but there aren’t any bellies in my way, my children will love to help me care for the plants and – most importantly – it makes me happy.

Has there been anything unexpected inspiring you lately?

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