Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff


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It came back to life.

Others didn’t. But, somehow, this one did.

We had tried with the others, following suggestions for success given to us by friends, or slavishly obeying the directions on the card supplied at time of purchase. But, to no avail. Everything ended in failure.

For a good year or more, this one had rested in various places in the house, beside deck doors, windowsills, eastern and western exposures, and done nothing. While it lived, it refused to flower. N. felt we were still on the road to nowhere.

Then, she moved it to the family room. Just to get it out of the way. It sat on the top corner of the fireplace at the edge of the window along with other plants that didn’t need that much light. And gradually, over not too long a time, a new chute appeared. Not one of those strange, creeper-root-type tendrils you usually see, but a green upright stem. Then buds.

And now, a flower.

N’s orchid finally bloomed.

I have been buying her orchids, instead of flowers, for birthdays and anniversaries for years now. While fresh cut flowers are nice, orchids are closer to what N. is, delicate, attractive, independent and emanating a presence that you can’t ignore.

She always kept the plants after the flowers died off. She always hoped that one day one of them would return her care with a bloom. Sadly that day never came for those orchids. Eventually, frustrated and tired of waiting she threw them out.

What was different about this one? Why did it resurrect itself? Who knows?

Who cares?

Right now her reward after all those years of trying is one lovely yellow flower and the promise of another. Not earth-shattering in the grand scheme of things. Just a simple victory of patience. Each time she passes it she smiles and gives it a short spray. And that is good to see.

N. refuses to move it. When it’s done it will remain in its magical place. And we will hope, watch and wait for  the mystery to repeat itself and N’s orchid  to flower again.




Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

February 18, 2011 at 3:48 PM

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