My mom and I aren't very good at keeping plants alive.
For what feels like three or four years, my mom has been given orchids by every single one of her friends who ever come over to the house. And every single orchid plant does the same thing--it sits there, looking beautiful, until it dies.
She follows the directions and waters it when it needs to be watered, but the thing turns brown and the flowers just fall off. Finally, she put three of them on a bench that sort of acts as a windowsill in our living room.
There, they grew.
Sometime in June, my dear friend Amanda came over for dinner, bearing the gift of a gorgeous pink rose plant in a little black plastic pot. They bloomed for a few weeks and we kept them on the kitchen counter, where the orchids used to be. We watered it when it got dry, until the flowers eventually all fell off and the thin green branches withered into rigid brown sticks.
"I guess we can throw it out," I told my mom, kind of upset and sad that I had let such a precious little thing wither away when the truth was that I really wanted it to bloom forever outside my bedroom door. I have dreams of always having fresh flowers--straight from my backyard--in little vases all over my bedroom. "Maybe I can re-pot it and it will come back."
I found an old pot in the garage and filled it with new soil, planting my dead rosebush in it and whispering affirmations into the branches. The pot was beautiful, with colorful tiles all over the outside of it. I watered it and placed it in the sunlight on our back porch. Nothing.
Our magical bench had since gained an indoor tree, and I decided I quite liked the way it looked with all these plants on it--a sort of weird greenhouse where abandoned plants go to start over. So the rose bush found a new home.
It soon turned green again. And look--new buds.
There's always hope, isn't there?