Thursday, September 16, 2010

The first bud

"Just living is not enough... One must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
~ Hans Christian Andersen
I spotted the first bud on my baby orchid plant today. There it was sitting pretty with a magenta pout amidst its family of older blossoms, who had walked out of the store with me. And since this is my first orchid, this wee bit o' bud made me really happy, very much childlike. I had often wished to buy one but something or the other would come up in the way. It must have been the geraniums. Their plump pink and scarlet clusters would always lead me astray. Wherever I have lived, however the climate, I've always had a geranium. It has been a bit like carrying ones own weather around!

When it comes to plants, I can be quite fussy till I have read and reread the instructions that come with the pots and sometimes even after that I'm not happy. I hunt down every little detail about them in Wikipedia, just to make sure nothing goes wrong in their nurturing. I have never been so thrilled about my flowers except the time when I was the proud owner of a potted lavender in Seattle. Lavender has a special place in my heart - be it the colour, the fragrance or the flower. I would sit by it every evening with a book and would have my own little sessions of aromatherapy in the patio, lost in its balmy fragrance. It was a hard time, watching the frost get it and eventually its death during the first snow of that year. All that remains is a handful of the dry blossoms carefully preserved in a little silk pouch. Sigh!

This season it's going to be just the good old sturdy chrysanthemum. Or as the Americans call them, the 'mums'. No one else can put up such a brave show in front of the harsh north American winter. Thank god for their stoicism, for in spite of the chill and the snow outside there will be colour, warmth and a kindling hope inside.

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