Tuesday, May 12, 2009


To the uninitiated, this may look like . . . well . . . a whole lotta nothing. And maybe in the final analysis it is. But it all comes down to the back story, right? And this one, I suppose, is about finding one's rightful place in the world.

This peace lily was given to me almost five years ago by a woman who either A) had no further use of it, or B) felt that a childless, aimless person like myself needed something fragile to take care of.

In the ensuing years, I've overwatered it, underwatered it, let the leaves go brown and brittle, impacted its roots in an insufficient planter, denied it light, refused to talk to it, neglected to provide it my used coffee grounds, and essentially almost killed it nearly a dozen times. But a couple years back, I got the gumption to do some repotting. And I figured out by accident that this particular plant likes sunlight. Suddenly the lily turned green and lush, and I no longer had a sandwich-board of my rotten caretaking on display in the house. Still, she made no sign of flowering, but I made peace with the prospect I'd never see a bloom (as one is called upon to do with a peace lily).

Suddenly last night -- after a five-year relationship together, after nearly two years of decent but uninspired health -- I noticed tucked there in the greenery, quietly emerging with no need for attention, not one but three separate blooms. Now I'm no believer in symbolism, and I can't take much credit for this surprising surge of life, but I guess I'm overdue for a promising sign of something or other. So I'll take this for what it is, and maybe I'll share an 'After' photo or two once the blooms do their unfolding. I'll leave it to you to untangle what the whole thing might mean. As for me, I'm a happy bystander.


johno said...

maybe it took me being out of town... But: in my defense... I'm a late bloomer as well!

Christy said...

If this fecundity had anything to do with you being away, it would have happened a long time ago :-).

Ah, the life of a traveling salesman.

Leslie said...

As someone who has killed two peace lilies in the last 9 years, I applaud your willingness to stick through thick & thin.

Diana Sudyka said...

i still love this post.