Stores are dangerous places for me this time of year! They flaunt vegetable plants, herbs, flowers, and gorgeous pots in all colors knowing that I am addicted! I’m weak. Really, I think I may be helpless. Ok, I know I’m not helpless, but I am vulnerable. To the point that I could probably use a good-looking secret service type protector (non-Columbia model, of course).
Vulnerability struck a couple of weeks ago, and even though I knew I was heading out for a nine-day trip, I bought a beautiful peat pot of basil. It contained four thriving plants. They all proudly stood on the shelf and called my name. As they rode around the store in the shopping cart with me, I swear I heard them mocking the other plants. They even chided me for putting them in a grey plastic bag for the ride home in the car.
Soon, I had them temporarily settled on the counter to await their garden fate. Then, as fate would have it, there they would remain for nine long days. Alone, in the dark, lifeless room, straining for sun that would also steal their last remaining drops of moisture.
Upon my return, I gasped at their bedraggled and lifeless state. They didn’t respond at all to my cooing and self-flagellation. They were spent. All pride gone. Lifeless.
Regardless, I bathed them gently with tap water and soaked their peat base to the point of saturation.
I wasn’t sure, but thought I heard a bit of complaining, “Now, you come?”
Guiltily, I left them and proceeded to post-trip activities, unpacking, laundry, sorting nine days of mail. Every once in a while, I’d look in on the basil and drop an encouraging and gentle word.
“You can do it. I know it’s hard, but dig deep from your roots. You have strength you’re not aware of for this journey.”
Sure enough, within 24 hours, life had returned. No, they are not to their former glory. They have a bit of a bend now. But there are helps for that sort of thing. Besides, they’ve not even met their new home yet – a bright pot with rich, dark soil and a prime patio location.
Perhaps best of all, they have a new appreciation for their strength and ability to return even from a bit of a dry spell. A lesson even a plant junkie can appreciate.