As you all know, I have a tendency to ruminate. I fuss. I ponder. I worry. Well, today I’m worry about plants—more specifically orchids. I love them. They are tender and fragile. But they are absolutely resilient. You have to trust. You have to wait. Sometimes for a year. I have six growing on my window sills. They are wonderful colors of pink, purple and white. I talk to them. They are actually part of my family. The ritual of watering them, supporting the stems with tall sticks and hair clips, picking off the dying blossoms and giving them care becomes a quiet ritual.
Many people think that they are fragile. Well, some are, not all. But there are more types of orchids than any other species of plants- more than any other. They have adapted over time to manage just about any condition. That means there is one that can thrive with you.
A few years ago I went through a special exhibit at the Smithsonian with a full room just with orchids. They were gorgeous and they were ugly. Some gave off a smell of rancid meat—it attracts certain insects such as maggots that then pollenate the next plant. Some were fragrant and so lovely that you’d think it was made of glass carefully crafted and sprayed with perfume. Then I was taken by the one that could have been formed from chocolate and the aroma would confirm that. A fudge looking and smelling plant.
My mother has a tall and lovely orchid in the kitchen that has been blooming for a year and a half. I think she told me 33 months.
They are special.
Why do I go on about this? We tend to our projects. May it be writing, may it be our family, may it be whatever is important of the moment. That’s who we are.
I think our writing is an extension of how we define ourselves. We write to tell our stories as if they were the orchids. Special projects, sustaining parts of our lives, and beautiful additions to our definition.
I’m not at home right now, but I do know that my orchids will be waiting for me and so will my thumb drive, so the stories will continue. Best to you all.