Last fall, we had the ladies who work for Keith and their husbands over. One of them brought us a plant -- some kind of orchid, I believe. It had a long skinny stem that shot straight up and then curved forward horizontal to the table, kind of like a lower case "r". Four or five beautiful blossoms were on the stem part pointing forward. It was very lovely. I knew I would kill it -- I have a black thumb.
It came with a card of instructions, which I followed to a T, yet the blossoms started to die. I didn't know if this was supposed to happen or not, but I kept following directions. Soon, the stem was just an empty green stick pointing out the window. I wondered if the thing was dead and I should dump it, but the leaves at the base of the stem were still green and flourishing, so I continued the water and fertilizer regimen. Every day, I would look with a twinge of embarrassment at this bent, bare stick in a pot sitting in front of my window. Eventually, I stopped looking too closely.
Then, one morning a few weeks ago, I noticed that, while I had been averting my eyes, a new seemingly-very-much-alive "branch" had started growing horizontally off of the vertical part stem. And pretty soon, I saw what looked like buds developing on this new branch. Three of those buds have now opened into beautiful white blossoms, and three more are apparently on the way. Whadda ya know!
The old stem remains, too -- still green, but with no other appearance of life. It's a strange little plant, this thing. Plus now, the roots are sticking up above the top of the flowerpot. Apparently, I need to replant it in a bigger pot. Whadda ya know.
Leslie and I have been reading Robert Frost this week, one of my favorite poets. I love how he describes moments of man's encounters with nature and finds metaphors for the human experience.
I wonder what he would have to say about my strange little orchid plant.