I used to kill every plant I had from the time I was a young child. But then I bought a ficus tree early on when I first got married. I’m not certain why I was drawn to it and I had no idea I’d have success with it. It moved everywhere with us propped in living room corners next to picture windows, hanging in there no matter how poorly I treated it. Finally, it thrived on an unheated (but warm) glassed in front porch downstate Michigan where we lived nearly twenty years in a Craftsman bungalow. I never fertilized it, but I re-potted it four times and it grew huge and full and green and vibrant. It lived about 20 years and then it died. I never knew if a ficus tree had a life span or if I had finally murdered it as I had all my other fledgling plants through the years. It seemed it died just about the time my luck changed. Just about the time I broke that mirror,( lost my mind, I’m sure you’re thinking). About that time.
About the time my mother died.
I am not sure I believed my power resided in that plant–I always thought it resided in my dreams–both physical and figurative.
And in my writing.
The writing process, as I always describe it, is like feeling your way in the dark, shuffling feet forward, palms reading the walls like a blind person reading braille, groping your way until your fingertips locate that light switch–and even then it can be a dim light, barely illuminating the way — until you shuffle to that next switch.
But now it seems it’s happening not only to my writing but in my life.
The switches elude me.
And I’m alone in the dark.
Still, I seem to have developed a green thumb….