Thursday, September 13, 2007

Gardenias and Green Thumbs

Gardenias in Sake Cup
Copyright 2007 Sheila Cantrell

I once had a green thumb. Mine turned brown after the kids were born. I think that there was just a limit to how many young growing things I could take care of. I was reduced to keeping mother-in-law tongues, aloe veras, etc. - you know those plants that you can't even kill with plastic explosives. I got to the point where I actually felt guilty when I purchased a new living green thing because I felt that I had just committed it to death row. Now that two kids are grown (I started to say "practically", but they would take offense at that) and the other two are in high school, I have hopes that my thumb may turn green once more. I bought a prayer plant a couple of months ago and placed it above the kitchen sink so it would hopefully be watered occasionally. It not only is still alive, put also putting forth new leaves on a regular basis. Perhaps it has an edge over my past victims since it folds its leaves in prayer each night.

The reason this gardenia painting is causing me to muse about my brown thumb is because gardenias always remind me of my dad's green thumb. A few years ago, he found a mangled gardenia boutonniere in the street in front of his house. I say mangled because it had been run over by at least one car. He took it into the house, removed the floral tape, and placed it in a cup of water. A couple of weeks later, it had rooted, so he planted it in a pot. To this day, it lives on his patio, growing larger each year, and enjoying a new life that only its Maker and my dad would have known to be possible. And my dad knows exactly how many blossoms it has each summer. Now that's something only a retiree has time to do...

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