Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Heaven Would Be Damp

It's raining. Thank God. I was pretty parched. I know that nothing I was doing to water my fuchsia and my gardenia was going to be enough. They were dying. My petunias are looking droopy in the wet, but despite their passive aggressive protest, they needed the rain too.

It looks so nice out there on the deck. If it had a roof, I'd sit out there and listen to the drops coming down.

Last night, there was distant thunder. I kept waking up thinking that someone was playing video games too loudly. Then, I'd go back to sleep. I don't know how many times I woke up, five, six, seven times?

In an hour, I'm going to drop Nick and his friend off at camp. Then, I'm taking Teddy out for a long walk in the rain. It will be nice to be wet. I must have been reincarnated from one of those plants that like to be misted.

I used to have a Norfolk pine in my bathroom. I loved that tree. I had moved it from room to room and it never gained much ground from the brittle little tree that I originally bought at a grocery store in New Jersey. Grocery stores in New Jersey aren't known for their ability to nurture. Did you know that they put huge posts close together at the entrance of many stores so that you have to lug your groceries out to your car without the help of a grocery cart? It's great for building upper body strength for a single-person household, but it sucks for someone with a large family. People there don't accept help from strangers either, so if you offered to help anyone out with a huge load of melting ice cream and frozen pizzas, they'd just give you the evil eye as if you were going to steal their Raisin Bran or something.

So, my little Norfolk pine just barely managed until one day, I realized that the place it would get the most light was in my bathroom. I loved that bathroom, all light and steamy and big, but when I put the Norfolk pine in there, it made the place a haven, a sanctuary, where I could swipe condensation off the mirror and actually look beautiful in my fuzzy reflection.

And my Norfolk pine loved it there too. Together we thrived. I took long warm showers and afterward, tiny drops of dew hung from it's needles. It grew new green shoots on the ends of its branches. I loved that shade of green. It was almost the only time I had a plant that was perfectly placed and cared for. It was spectacular. People that visited almost always commented on its beauty, though my Norfolk pine and I didn't need the compliments. We were happy in our quiet sanctuary.

And then one day, my cat decided the large pot my Norfolk pine lived in was a perfect auxiliary litter box. Within a few weeks, our beautiful communion in the bathroom was yellow, crippled, and then dead and gone.

I have always wondered since then if a beloved Norfolk pine could go to heaven when it died. Heaven just might be a well-used bathroom, warm and damp from long showers. Or it might be a cathedral of tall trees on a warm drizzly day with jewels of rain hanging from boughs of Western Red Cedar and sword ferns that are five feet tall. Someday, I imagine I might find out.

Thank you for listening, jb

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