Plants aren’t just plants, sometimes

Spring flowers one

I want to make it perfectly clear from the start that I’m not about to work hard to inject deep meaning into this piece. Something dawned on me as I was watering my plants this morning.

I’m one of those people who can’t tell you the name of one plant from the other; however, for years I’ve nurtured plants in our house. For some reason, plants thrive under my care. Each spring, I make a trip to the Home Depot, Lowe’s or some garden center to buy fresh potting plants. They just seem to make the decks (front and back) on our house look alive and welcoming. They also add a nice touch to the inside, too.

Back to what came across my mind as I was watering the plants scattered around our living room this morning. The other day, a friend of mine posted a picture of a plant on Facebook. I won’t mention her name, because I’m not sure she would want it in a blog deposited in cyberspace. She lost her mom a few years ago, and I thought it touching that she would post the picture of one of her mom’s plants. It was the picture of a Drunkard Dream. (Since I know very little about the names of plants, I accept what she called it as what it is.) The post said, “My momma’s Drunkard Dream is blooming. Such cherry yellow flowers for dreary winter days. She would be so happy.” I think you can tell by these words that she holds her mother very dearly in her heart and that this plant is more than just a plant.

karen's mom's plnt

The Drunkard Dream

My friend’s posting prompted an exchange between the two of us. I too lost my mom. She died due to complications related to Alzheimer’s a year ago this past July. I have a plant that occupies a special place in our house. It didn’t belong to my mom, but it was one of the many bright floral spots that adorned the space surrounding her casket.

Mom's plant

Plant from mom’s funeral

My friend also mentioned, as we conversed on Facebook, that she had one of the same types of plants from her father-in-law’s funeral that I collected from my mom’s funeral. I’m sure it wouldn’t still be there, being nourished and cared for if it didn’t have special meaning.

I’m getting these mental images as I stroke the keys to my laptop. I see an old hickory nut tree standing stately in the center of one of my maternal grandfather’s fields. I remember many days playing underneath that tree as a boy, collecting hickory nuts in the fall and watching my grandfather resting beneath it after a hard morning of tilling the soil with his team of mules. I remember the drooping limbs of Weeping Willows in my grandparent’s yard gently blowing in the light breezes of many hot, humid summers in Cross County, Arkansas. There was also and old Oak tree in one corner of their yard that grandpa used to hang and stretch fishing poles he made from sticks he gathered, from where, I have no clue. That tree was also used for hanging animals, as he skinned them.

I guess I didn’t keep my promise. There is deep meaning in plants, as they unintentionally help us remember tender points in our lives.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

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