A Journey To My Garden

I was inspired to write this post after reading Andrea’s thoughts at Harvesting Hecate on celebrating the harvesting season. This is my post in celebration.

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It’s almost October. I sit and try to look at the past. At first, I don’t see anything of relevance, but then I stare harder and see good memories taking shape in the invisible before me.

A year has moved in this house, but I miss the old place. I miss the vicinity which had multiple parks in it. The parks always invited me with their cheerful flowers. I had adored their companionship and their beautiful space.

The new home is good, however, concrete blocks surrounds the place. I like whites but I miss the greens of the nature.

“Charity begins from home,” they say. So I thought, why cry about something that I can’t do anything about; why not focus on something that I can do, instead. And so, a thought of a terrace garden germinated in my mind. But there was only one problem — I’m no gardner, I told myself. Having zero knowledge about gardening, I dropped the idea and didn’t even bring a single plant home.

In March of this year, my mom visited us. She surprised me with a pot of fully grown aloe vera plant. I was both happy and angry. Angry, because she had travelled a long way and all I wanted from her was to travel light. Happy, as my subconscious mind had intelligently played and surprised me with this gift. So, I accepted it with great happiness.

Every action has a reaction. I had completely failed to see the consequence that I had invited by adopting that one plant.

Misery loves company,” they say but I’m sure that my one plant was seeking for more green beings for itself.

It all starts from one tiny step, and so it started from one small plant. I went to the nursery and got some sturdy plants. Since it was March – April and we were proceeding towards hot Indian summers I needed some strong plants for my so-called garden.

I bought a reddish orange hibiscus and some green croton. I was happy. They were growing nicely.

my croton plant

When you have taken one successful step you need to stand firm and not run, but I did just that. My enthusiasm had captivated me and I bought two — one red and one white rose plants. It was a good purchase as they were in full bloom.

Disaster struck! And it didn’t happen gradually. One day I woke up to a horrifying scene. If plants could suffer from yellow fever then they were already in its tight grip. In two days, yellows too, had disappeared and given themselves to a bare brownish bush.

I’m not a gardner, but I wanted to save my new buddies. My desperate attempts made me seek help from the wise master Google. I also visited the temples of Youtube multiple times. I was losing time. Then a decision was made.

With nervous breath and a racing heart, I took a pair of scissors and did some light pruning on my friends. Just like a quack doctor I had complete faith in the survival of my patients but couldn’t guarantee the success of this surgery. Nevertheless, I was proud of myself. I had an exhilarated feeling, as if, I had extended myself to help a human being come back to life. I wanted to share this proud moment with my mom and so I called her. To my horror she revealed that I had committed a crime by pruning the roses in the months of April — the peak summer time. You see, it wasn’t a complete revelation to me because I knew that already, but I just wanted some consolation that I had taken the right step. Anyways, after the call had ended a thought stuck to my mind that whatever I had done was for the good of my plants, and I was surrounded by an illusionary belief that my plants would come back to life.

Days passed. Months passed.

My heart started sinking. “What had I done,” I thought. But the hope was still dwelling in my heart — I had not given up, yet.

Every morning at 6, I got up to water the plants. My eyes longingly scanned them for a different reality in them. Nothing happened.

My hope was now cracked.

And then, a change took place. The branches had taken a pale green colour. YES! Yes! I shouted with joy in my heart. But this time I didn’t want to share the news with anyone.

Some creepy idea crept into my mind and I started talking to them. Holding their feeble branches with my fingertips, I could recreate any scene from any movie where the doctor had advised to talk to a patient in coma for their (quick) recovery. I talked to them. I prayed to God.

Then, it was magic — when I saw, two- three green leaves had opened themselves to this world. My heart was filled with the warmth of an early morning sun and my eyes had become watery.

I Thanked God! A miracle had happened.

This time I was ready to call… my mom. It was joy. It was a victory for me. It was that moment to say… see, I was right and you, wrong, but I saved my breath from all that and when she said, “Hello!”

I said, “Mom my plants are alive. The rose plants have come back to life.”

white button rose

Months have passed since then. I look at my small garden of a countable number of pots. As one plant blooms and fades away another plant pops out its blossoms as if they are passing the baton to each other.

Looking at what I’ve achieved I’ve now become a bit daring. I’ve now started planting some herbs and veggies.

My first chilly plant, though, died suddenly like a plant heart attack of some kind. One day it was glowing green in health and the other day it had turned stiffly brown. Creepy! There was nothing to worry as I had saved some chilles from the plant. I sprinkled all the seeds. And then, it was magic, again. The chilly plant has reincarnated itself from the depth of the soil.

Baby chilly plant, veiled for protection against birds and (specially) pigeons

Now when I look at my garden, I surely feel that I’m no longer a beginner. I’ve connected well with my plants and that is all that matters.

Enjoy some pics on the way out of my garden. Thanks for visiting!

 

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Lyra and the lucky red rose

The sky was a black canvas where lightning made a terrorful entry with the rumbling sounds of thunder bolts. It seemed the gods were at a war. A thunderstorm was about to make its presence in the silent city of Sabethville. Phones were ringing at the work places and homes, people were queued in booths to check on their loved ones.

Lyra was packing her bag and like all the other staff members was moving towards the exit. This would be her first thunderstorm experience away from home. The distance between her work place and home was not very far. She was walking hurriedly making her way into the crowd. Her coat was a cheap material that could barely protect her from the weather; however, she wrapped it around herself tightly.

As she was passing a booth she could hear a woman’s voice. “Hello, where are you?” Ok, just stay safe. And don’t you worry about me or children. We’ll be fine. See you tomorrow. Love you. Bye.” The woman kept the receiver.

Lyra saw people running to reach their homes before the thunderstorm really started to burst its anger on human race. Last time, the thunderstorm was responsible to bring flood which destroyed atleast a dozen lives and uprooted the buildings, houses and roads. It had a horrifying effect on the people of this small city. The life had come to a standstill and it took months for the people to get back to their normal lives. People were strong enough to cope with the pain then and this time preparations were made in advance to have less causalities.

Lyra reached her building. There was no difference between the chaos in the streets and her building. All she could see was people running in the building’s stairway and hallway. No one greeted anyone. Everyone was in a hurry to lock themselves up in their respective homes.

She opened the door and looked for the switch.But her action to bring light into the apartment was futile as there had already been a power cut. She carelessly threw away her coat as it landed on the sofa. She was looking… not outside but something that was in her hand. It was a rose. It was- the red rose, a symbol of love, given by a boy who worked with her in her office building. She kept looking at it, not because it was a love symbol but because it looked very attractive to her. Outside was darkness and chaos and inside there was a sense of calmness and a power cut that enveloped this silence. The velvety red rose was a contrast to the darkness all around it.

The street light was flickering which was a signal that it could go off any moment and her room would be in complete darkness, so she quickly looked for a matchstick and a candle. The street light died as soon as the candle came to life. The candle glowed gently on a table by a vase. All the things in the room were mere shapes and were glowing in the candle light, but the red rose was living, it was the only thing that was breathing life.

Suddenly a squeaking sound made Lyra turn her head. Her concentration was disrupted and she became aware of someone else’s presence. Her eyes were moving, wanting to hear the sound again. The rose still in her hand; after a minute’s silence she could hear the sound again, it sounded like a mouse nibbling at books under her bed. She kept the rose and reached for a torch and bent down to see if it was certainly a mouse or a squirrel had mistakenly found its way into her room. She saw the mouse. It jumped and then made a run for its life as the torch’s light flashed on it.

“Oh! My god I’m so hungry,” Lyra spoke to herself and went to open the fridge door. Just when she was about to open the fridge her eyes darted on a pastry box kept on top of the fridge. This part of the room was partially filled with light. She eagerly took out the pastry and took a bite. The bite followed the action of chewing and she realized that Tom had packed Chocolatine a French pastry instead of a Baklava a Turkish pastry. Anyways, she had taken a bite and didn’t mind eating it all.

“Silly, Tom he did it again. Now tomorrow I’ll have to buy something extra. Seriously, does he intentionally do it to make me buy extra or is it an unintentional act.”

“Now I feel much better,” Lyra rubbed her tummy and went near the study table. It was a normal 3ft by 4ft table. The table’s dark coffee brown shade appeared darker than usual in the dim light of the candle. The table had a few books, a pen stand that had many colourful pens in it. There were two magazines that were lying on the table. One was closed and had a picture of “Carribean Islands” on its front cover and the other was open with a pencil in the middle. Just then she saw a card which was peeping out of the magazine. She pulled it out. It was a wedding card. She pulled the card and started reading it, “so now faith, hope, and love abide…Lauren Peters and Jason Knight request the pleasure of your presence at their marriage…”

“How could I forget,” Lyra shouted. “Oh! Lauren and Jason I’m so happy for you two.”

She looked at the card again to check if there was a dress code or something, thankfully there was none. She went to the cupboard with the candle in her hand.

“I’m not going to buy a new dress. Let’s see if I can find something to wear for the occasion.” There was nothing that was appropriate. She sat on the bed with a grumpy face. After seconds her face lit, “yes, I’ll ask Jenny if I could borrow her dress. Problem solved.”

Nothing had changed outside it was pouring heavily and the street had water running through them. Suddenly Lyra again spoke to herself, “What about the gift? I haven’t got one. I’ll have to buy one.”

She grabbed a note book and a pen and sat down to make a list of gift items.She jotted down 5 gift items: a camera, watches, photo frames, a crystal vase and a bottle of champagne. She glanced at the list for a while and played with the pen…click,click,click,click…. The pen’s noise made a beat with the rain drops that were making a tap,tap,tap noise outside. She just stopped and the rain was still playing its beat. She ticked in front of the photo frame and a bottle of champagne.

Outside the rain had subsided and the wind had come to a rest. The clock on the wall stuck 10. She remembered four hours ago everything seemed chaotic but now there were signs that tomorrow the life would return back to normal. She took out the leftover meal from the past day. One half of the plate was served with mashed potatoes and on the other half was some chicken salad.

She started to eat. The street lights were coming back to life.

“Oh! The street lights,” her voice echoed in the house like a small child. She went to her window; looked up at the starless sky. Her face glowed in the street light that was now entering her room. The candle had been burning for a long time and had lost much of its life in the battle against the darkness. For some reason Lyra didn’t blow the candle. The rose was now kept by the bed side. Lyra looked at it and smiled at it. She took it in her hands and said, “goodnight”… kept it back. The candle started flickering after a while when Lyra was already in a dreamy state ready to hug sleep.

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My five nouns are: The squirrel. The thunderstorm.The mouse. The red rose. The French pastry. The wedding. Hope you’ve enjoyed it.