25.4.15

DAY 579

in {and out} Week 15: Water

My mother always had quite a green thumb. Her skills at growing plants were mostly intuitive (or learnt from her ancestors) and it provided her much pleasure. As a result, I grew up seeing her enjoying this activity. We lived in an isle without much water and without gardens, neighbors grew their plants in pots and they placed them all over their houses including the patios that traditionally were full of them. 

One of the things I remember is the amazing variety of containers that one could find in a single place. There were the usual clay pots, often profusely (and even extravagantly) decorated and any kind of repurposed stuff depending on the imagination (and needs) of the owners.

I also remember the lush vegetation, the splash of green indoors -when outdoors all were black and brown and blue and white- that made everyone be deeply aware of the great importance of water.

And last but not least, I remember the liking for exchanging cuttings. My mother was very fond of this, she loved to gather pieces such roots, branches or leaves to start new plants and she kept her fondness even after our move to a bigger isle where we could buy plants, seeds, peat moss, fertilizer etc.

When I was I child this attitude often embarrassed me. When I was a teen it simply drove me crazy. No matter where we were, if she was seeing a plant that she wanted to have, my mother gently asked for a cutting, she took a spotless white handkerchief of her handbag (often with a tiny lace or a subtle embroidery) and wrapped the cutting with it while smiling. Regardless of my annoyance, back home I shared her enthusiasm and along the following days I contemplated amazed the growing roots through the glass of the mason jars where she usually placed them.

When I left my mom´s house and started to have my house, I was too involved in my own matters and my professional career to recognize the worth of all those experiences. I bought a plant from time to time and tried to do my best to keep it alive but I was not present enough to achieve that goal. As time passed, I stopped having plants at home.

This saddened my mother. She could not understand why they were not important to me, why being her daughter (coming from where I come from) I was not able to appreciate their beauty and master the use of water that was –according to her opinion- the only secret to growth healthy plants… but I can be very resistant, so I persevered in my refusal to have plants.

However, a year ago or so, I decided to give them a new chance. I only have a few, but I am seing how the knowledge, tricks and odd habits of my mother are emerging. Now I understand better that attention is important; I am learning to respect and thank water and not to take life for granted. I also love to collect cuttings (!) and I treat them as she used to do: I display them beautifully and I wait impatient to the first sign of something new.

And when this happens, I told it to my mother who still loves plants (although she cannot take care of them personally) and expect her almost unnoticeable sigh of joy when she gets ready to give me some wise advice. Then I close my eyes and feel her beautiful energy once again. 



This entry is part of a project I am developing with my friend Montse Gallardo. We´ll share a photo every week during 2015. Her photos will be always taken outside and my photos will be indoor shots only. We have created a Facebook page: In and Out. 52 weeks where you can see all the photos of the project. 

3 comments:

Kimberley McGill said...

Lovely photo, with the added depth of the story behind it. I found my heart touched gently by this combination. Thank you for sharing these memories with us.

Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

Beautiful..plants are my life force and I tend them like family.

Aga Gasiniak said...

Dear Zena, thank you for sharing this story. It is beautiful and full of wisdom. Really touching!!!!Beautiful photograph as well!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...