There's a plant in my living room. It's been there for over two years.
It doesn't look very good again. It must be time to water it.
I try to water it regularly. Give it plant food sometimes. Trim off the dry, brown leaves, turn it so the sunlight can touch even the side tucked in the shadows. I've tried moving it to different corners of the living room. These relocations are usually done out of necessity -- We're putting the Christmas tree here, so this shelf will have to go over there. And -- hm -- the plant can go over there -- but I always think this will be good for it. Maybe a new spot is just what it needs.
I've seen it perk up nicely in response to water, but mostly it looks sad, on the edge of someplace else. But it hangs on.
I don't really have much of a knack for growing things. I'd like to. I always thought I would. I imagined a garden when I fantasized about owning a house. Vegetables for sure. Flowers too, maybe. But I haven't tried very hard to overcome the challenges of shade and soil. And because I've always felt pulled in so many different directions in the house -- kids, chores, work -- growing things has never been a priority.
Kim always kept a beautiful yard. Luscious flower boxes, carefully chosen landscaping elements, herbs in an artsy container over there, tomatoes in a patch over there. A water fountain against the garage, and a deep, rich-sounding wind chime hanging from the pergola there. You could hear it from inside the house if it was quiet. Though if you were inside the house you'd most likely be drawn into a story she was telling. Her energy could fill a room like the sun slanting through the windows on a winter day. Warm on the back of your neck. I miss her.
When Kim died, John's workplace sent us the plant that's still in our living room. It was full and green then; it took up so much space. It had a white ribbon sunk into its soil. The ribbon is long gone and the plant looks thin now. But it's still green. It still sends up new leaves.
It's hope and I'd like to keep it alive.