?

Log in

No account? Create an account

November 16th, 2003

philodendron longings

"It is a fast, uncomplaining climber, almost pest-free and an excellent plant for a dark room, managining with a minimum of light. Easy and decorative, it wins favour wherever it grows"--Xenia Field, speaking of the philodendron scandens

When I as a child played at the Cleveland Avenue School, near my grandmother's house, I loved to touch the sensitive plant, which furled its leaves (quite sensitively) when touched. I love houseplants, but like so many of my hobbies, I love reading about them even more than raising them. I raise only cacti, succulents and the easiest tropicals, as all other plants are beyond my thumb's metaphoric grasp.

As I page through plant books I am giving away, I pause at the entry for philodendrons. They grow well in so many environments, for even the most dilatory indoor gardeners.
In college, a dear friend gave me a philodendron she had named Reija. I do not name plants nor fish, but I called Reija by this name for years. She thrived and grew, a leafy green reminder of why philodendrons are so charming.

I aspire to grow swiftly without complaint or pestiness, and to endure quite well with even a minimum of light. I do not mind if I am not particularly showy, so long as I am green and enlivened. I rarely qualify as decorative, but I would like to see myself as "easy".

My yahoo group, the Feeder Guppy Rescue League, now numbers six members. It seems to grow organically, which pleases me.
Sometimes plants just need the proper soil. I am attracted to things that provide great joy with low maintenance.

On the airplane, I read a wonderful picturebook I have of cacti and succulents. So many entries featured the expressions which in substance meant "easy to grow" and "readily blooms". I am myself much less an orchid than a succulent plant. We had an orchid once that was dormant, until I accidentally tripped over it, sending a wooden "upright thing-y" through a leaf. The plant instantly went into bloom. I myself prefer things to be a bit simpler.

When I hike, I touch trees and imagine that I can project my thoughts and feelings into them. I do not believe this literally occurs, but the image pleases me. I would like to go to the eastern side of the Sierras and "speak with" the bristlecone pine. "What might you teach me?", I might say.
"You do not have the time to hear the half of it", it might reply. But I believe in the life eternal in the moment. When I see a butterfly pass by, I know its adult phase may last only a matter of weeks. But I feel it is so very old, nonetheless.

This week I wish to work on doing my job quietly and well.
I am probably like a philodendron, rather than a showy violet, in more ways that I imagine. But it's not so important to define and apply metaphor. It's just important to be, and to move forward. This week I plan to just be.