check out my excitement!
I have always thought you plant and garden people were a little strange.
I never understood the fascination with growing things in your own house. My mother would often bring in potted plants and position them in areas of the house. I believe we called them her “victims.” Each time one would come in we’d begin humming “Taps.” My mother would coo and water and talk to these things trying to get them to stay alive, but our house was the place plants went to die.
I remember one particular herbicide where a large rubber tree had completely turned brown and shriveled into a ball. My mother had dragged it out to the backyard to get maximum sunlight… the plant equivalent of shouting “CLEAR!” I guess.
“Mom, it’s time go get rid of the plant.”
“No! It’s still alive! You see right here?”
Deep inside the brown twisted mass of dead vines, stems and leaves was a small sprout. Perhaps it was the beginning of a new leaf. Perhaps it was the end of a once thriving stem. Perhaps it was a place that I had taken a green Magic Marker to.
“Green means life!” my mother smiled.
She kept watering that plant. “Green means life,” became a sort of mantra to her. That plant was dead, dead, dead, but my mother was a little botanical Schindler. “Green means life.”
She also kept a garden once.
So for me gardening seemed futile. I had a bonsai tree once. It died within a week, and I tended to that thing more than my Tamagotchi.
My mother still keeps plants. She killed a fern once. I heard somewhere that it’s impossible to kill a fern. I don’t know. I’m just relaying the information.
But now I have an apology to make.
Last week while shopping I stopped in the pet aisle to pick up some kitty litter. Because Cal’s favorite toys are destroyed within a week due to his rough play, I walked down to pick up a new version of his most favorite, a piece of rabbit pelt at the end of a swirly piece of metal, which we have affectionately dubbed “Fur on a Wire.”
There I saw “Grow Your Own Catnip.”
It was a margarine container full of dirt. You threw some catnip seeds in there and it promised to have catnip grass in like two weeks that your cats could just munch on whenever they wanted to. I’m all about anything that can mellow-out the Circus Cat. I eyed the container suspiciously, since I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no catnip.
It said “Add Water.” That was the only rule. I can do that. And the cats’ favorite spots are full of sunlight. And for $2.50, I figured it was a sound investment, even if the cats never ate the stuff.
I took it home, opened the package up and poured the seeds into the “dirt.” I really don’t think it’s dirt, but whatever this chia-pet substance is, I was mixing seeds into it like I had been doing this forever.
“Now, you wanna mix the seeds in really well, so that they’ll take root,” I did my best Martha Stewart to Taylor, who was watching with a cocked head.
It called for a quarter-cup of water. The mixture was barely wet. I knew enough from planting trees for volunteer work and that one time my father made me plant the entire front yard with flowers and bushes that you want the area saturated. Wet to the touch. I put more water in the bowl and set it in front of the bedroom window.
Day two: nothing. I snorted at the margarine container.
Day three: What? The dirt got higher. Some of the seeds have split open. I watered the container. I figured maybe the cats had gotten into it.
Day four: There are things spouting out of the seeds! They looked like stubble. I was shocked. I was like Doc screaming “One point twenty-one jigawatts!” all over my house. You’d think I just combined hydrogen and oxygen, for Pete’s sake.
I HAD CREATED LIFE!
From nothing I have made life.
Day five: It’s about an inch in the air! It reaches towards the sun source! It’s green! Green means life!
The cats haven’t figured out what it is yet, but I think when they do, I’m going to be very upset when they start eating it. After all, I created this thing with my bare hands. I raised this grass all by myself. I can’t just have these cats munching on this living thing.
The margarine bowl says the grass only lives for three weeks.
I have a feeling it’s going to be a very sad day for me soon.
I’m sorry I ever doubted you, plant people.
Now let’s go water something.