Good morning, 2019. It’s quiet here in Portland. Grey-blue sunlight is filtering through the front door window. A siren is wah-ing outside. Al and I were gifted a terrarium making workshop which we attended at the end of last year. We made two adorable terraria and brought them home. We have no other plants. We have had many over the years. I once owned an amaryllis, which bloomed once spectacularly and then died. We have had a few succulents, because they’re “so low maintenance that anyone can keep one alive”, and they died. I have a bonsai tree back in England that my mum now looks after. It was lucky.
So now we have two rabbit’s foot ferns growing in our home, and we’re both waiting for the unfortunate day. Over the period of Christmas and New Year, what with us being away, they started to wilt. We returned to find them crisping up. But this year I am determined. I watered them. The lady said every two weeks, but nay, I have decided that these plants need more water. I bought a misting bottle which sits loaded and ready to go beside them. I moved my one, who was in critical condition and losing fronds fast, into the kitchen beside the sunniest window in the house. If dogs are the gateway to having children, then plants are the gateway to having dogs. Perhaps I never viewed them as the living beings they are, never respected their needs. I was unkind. But no longer.
I once read, or perhaps heard, that the way you spend the first day of the year is how the rest of the year will be. I don’t believe it, but I just can’t shake it out of my head either. This year the defining part of our first day was a long and wonderful conversation with two dear friends. Yesterday I had yet another memorable conversation with a different friend. The result of all this conversing is inspiration – as welcome as hot chocolate when you’ve been sitting outside in 20 degrees all morning.