Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Mother's Garden

I bought a basil plant from Target for a dollar. I have always wanted to have a thumb as green as my mother’s. She has, over the years, coordinated her backyard to change colors in perfect synchronization – pinks and yellows and whites of the daisies and tulips and daffodils in spring, changing to bright and vibrant purples and reds of poppies and lilacs, swooping softly to tangerines, and fiery oranges of Chinese lanterns and mums. Her garden has chapters, each day turns to a new page of color. She will claim that she had no input on the coordinating timing of colors – but she has and continues to.

I will probably kill my basil – if it sprouts at all. My mother bought me a beet starter kit last year. And I had the very best intentions for it, until I forgot about it. I left the tray out in the hot sun, parching the seeds and zapping the soil of its nutrients, only to then let it be drowned by a rainstorm, the clumps of dirt and sickly seedlings spilling over the side onto the concrete of my balcony.
Spring is coming upon me earlier this year because I now live in Texas. Hydrangea trees hanging heavy with their think purple bunches, bushes, that I thought were just that, are now sprouting bright white flowers with deep crimson centers. The sky is almost always blue, the grass is the green of the south and not the recovering tan and patchy brown of snow-soaked earth. Lying by the pool or going hiking are real possibilities for my day off tomorrow, in early March. People are not foolish to wear tank tops.
There will continue to be sun and warmth and flowers and green leaves to encourage my writing. My mind will not be stilted or numbed by the cold. Even if my basil plant doesn’t make it – I know I will.

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