Thursday, September 17, 2009

little red flowers

i think i was in high school when i first got plants in my room.
english ivy, some cactus,
plants that would thrive on the limited care
that a distracted high school student would almost certainly provide.
since then i have had plants wherever i have gone.

i love their simple complexities.
they need sustenance in the form of water, air, and sunlight.
some like soil, some seem to thrive in water alone.

as with my gardens,
i have very little idea what they are
and i don't really care to know
because i am really more interested in what they look like
and of course that they live long comfortable lives.

our home has plants scattered everywhere.
miraculously, they seem content here
living on drinks of water
and the comments i make to them.

yes i spend time beside my plants.
sometimes i talk to them.
sometimes i touch them.
sometimes i smile when i look at them -
because they are so amazing.

i love the little surprises -
like the christmas cactus that flowered at christmas
and then again in june!
the plant that seemed destined for
the compost heap and yet . . .
it found its form and returned to become
miraculously robust and very present.
i love the little plants
who bravely leaf
and that's all.


there's one plant that flowers periodically.
here 'tis . . .






there is something so perfect
and "there" in a flower
that doesn't leave
even
when the flower starts to change colour
and then fades
and dries up.

it brings me to think of a beautiful piece of writing by robert aitken . . .

everything
just as it is,
as it is,
as is.
flowers in bloom.
nothing to add.


you nailed it my brother robert . . . there's nothing to add.

38 comments:

Kathleen said...

By god, but those photos are dreamy, Steven.

Mr B. has always had a soft spot for plants. In fact, our house was a veritable jungle of plants he'd rescued from people's roadside trash and revived. The flourished under his TLC and grew in crazy, asymmetrical ways, almost as if they were turning to him like the sun.

You plant people just amaze me.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Nice post Steven. What a gorgeous plant. We have a house plant (oxalis) that some friends gave us thirty years ago, and it was twenty years old at least already. Sometimes we doubted if it was going to survive, and then it would pull through... It is an enduring friend.

Alaine said...

Looks like a little geranium - lovely colour!

Delwyn said...

Hello Steven

your beautifully simple complex flower is a living example of the red of red...its almost redder than red.
The poinsettia bushes are doing red extremely well at the moment. I photographed their intense red but it didn't come through...perhaps it got caught on my retinas...

I too talk to my plants and little tomatoes in the tubs on the deck and now I've taken to talking to the birds in the street...
One neighbour has already stopped his car was to ask if I was Ok, as I tottered along looking skyward...
I'll be getting a name soon... 'that crazy bird woman...'

Happy days

Barry said...

I don't talk to my plants. Don't pet them either.

They grow and live, but seldom thrive.

Maybe I should pay them a visit.

steven said...

hi richard, twenty years old! it intrigues me that plants have the ability to live long lives. i think of the joshua tree - thousands of years old - for example. i don't know if your house is the same but in our home plants stay put. they are set and i rely on them to be there. much like my family itself. thanks for visiting! have a creative day. steven

steven said...

hi kathleen - mr. b knows how to bring back the forgotten plants!! not entirely unexpected and lovely!! i like those surprises like the basket of plants that starts to dry up in someone's office that i take apart, stick into baggies with water and ride home on the back of my bike. we have some of those and they've been lovely healthy little guys ever since!!! have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hi alaine - thanks for the gardening tip!! i've heard of geraniums of course but i always thought they had those quirky smelling leaves. i'd believe that there are different leaves as well as different flowers on plants of course!! have a lovely day steven

Pauline said...

Delighted to hear that you talk to your plants, too. And that you notice the essence of a flower even when it has faded. And that things just "are." Marvelous morning thoughts, these.

steven said...

ha delwyn - how loveable!!! i talk to the blue jays, the crows especially, and i just say hi but i talk to any other living thing that crosses my path or even comes near. the plants need the vibes that come from care. i really believe that. care can be a feeling emanating from your nearness, your voice, your touch. they're like people that way!!! if you're crazy delwyn then i don't want to be normal. steven

steven said...

hi barry - my comment to delwyn pretty much says what i think - they're just like people. it's a simple little moment. hey plant - you're beautiful!!!! thanks for cleaning up the air in my home. thanks for the gift of green in the middle of the winter, thanks for flourishing with my care. try it out on them barry and see if it helps!!!! have a peaceful day barry. steven

steven said...

hello pauline, i wish i could remember when and why i started talking to plants but i can't. but its something that my children know about - we have goldfish and a bunny and i talk to them about their lives as well!!! my poor kids!! steven

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

steven:

. . . nothing to add . . .

:)

steven said...

hi bonnie: ah!! steven

Golden West said...

Some colors one sees on a palette - particularly lime greens and certain shade of chartreuse and maroon - seem gaudy and unnatural until you see them in plants and flowers and they seem to match anything!

willow said...

I, too, was in high school when I wanted plants in my room. My mother looked at me like I was crazy. I talk to and dote on my many plants. My thumb is definitely a green one.

Loved this post.

David King said...

You seem to have all the same attitudes towards plants as I do - except talking to them. I have to say I have never don e that, but think I can understand those who do.

ellen abbott said...

That red is so vibrant. I don't have plants in my house, just don't have a good place where they would get enough sun even though we have lots of big windows but deep eaves on the house. Instead I have the yard and all around the house filled with greenery and flowers and no curtains so that we are surrounded by beauty. I do talk to them, telling them how beautiful they are, and touch them when I pass by.

The Bug said...

Lovely! My hubby takes care of our plants thank goodness. I love them, but I'm a terrible mother. I have to put a reminder on my calender at work to water the ones there.

Reya Mellicker said...

They're so beautiful, like dozens of red stars. Wow.

I admit to not knowing much about the green world. I do know there is consciousness there, albeit really different than human/animal consciousness.

One thing Im sure of is that your plants benefit from your loving attentions. Bravo!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Love that last quote steven - and love the flowers. I talk to my plants too - I am sure it makes a difference!

steven said...

hello weaver - i feel certain that on whatever level they perceive us, there's something of an exchange that includes us being cared for by them and us caring for them. how that is understood by both parties is something of a mystery to me. have a lovely evening in the dale. steven

steven said...

hi reya - like dozens of red stars - which is where they came from so the moebius strip of their existence is visible!!! being kind to them is honouring their existence in the same way that they create oxygen to honour our existence. how good is that!!! have a peaceful dc night. steven

steven said...

hi bug, my mum used to pour tea and coffee on the plants where she worked!!! they thrived on it!!!! ha!!! have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hey ellen, the house plants are a direct function of the fact that for half the year we're really encased in our home due to the weather. otherwise we'd likely have a nicer garden. i love the house plants for their tiny showiness. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi dave - there's a connection between the plant and animal kingdom that's partly based on the food relationship but then also as i suggested in some comments here, there's something about caring for each other. that's why i talk to them. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi willow, there's something liberating about the responsibility of caring for plants in your own room when you're in high school. it's a living and fragile thing and it's your responsibility. i'm glad you enjoyed your visit. steven

steven said...

hello golden west - you're so right!!! this red would never appear on a painting of mine because it seems so unnatural. have a lovely evening. steven

hope said...

Wow, what a plant!

When I was a teenager I had a Venus Flytrap. Kept my room pest free. Almost. One day I came in and found one part of it smashed beyond recognition. Beyond the door was my 5 year old brother.

"What happened?" I asked.
"I fed it," he began sadly. "Just a fly."
"A fly wouldn't kill it," I began as his bottom lip trembled.
"I helped it chew," he admitted, pinching his forefinger to his thumb.

Brothers. ;)

Jenn Jilks said...

I love these plants. I talk to mine, and I do Therapeutic Touch on them, too.

steven said...

hope - you had a venus flytrap!!! my buds and i dreamed of owning a carniverous plant!!! and a girl who owned one?!! wow!!! what a hilarious tory - i liayged out loud because it's so true - brothers. my son drives his sister to despair even though he loves her so deeply!!! thanks for the great comment. steven

steven said...

hello jenn, i don't know about therapeutic touch. steven

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Steven~ Those pinwheels are exquisite! I feel as though they would spin in the wind! I think flowers are nurtured when spoken to. Trees, too.

steven said...

margaret - i so agree!! i love to listen to trees. i remember a post i did in the summer where i sat by a big old tree and heard a great story. have a lovely evening. steven

Patty Mooney said...

Lush and gorgeous flowers and the words to go with them as well.
Don't forget to sing to the plants - they love that! :)

Delwyn said...

Oh Steven - they love tea..cold of course...I empty all my tea leaves onto the plants, there is something in the leaves that they like, and it's good mulch too...

Happy days

Goldenrod said...

Talking to one's plants is essential for their well-being. In fact, studies have been conducted showing that happy, laughing talking is better for the plants than frowning and shouting. Sounds kind of ridiculous, but it's true.

steven said...

hi goldenrod, i agree - completely. i don't think any of that is ridiculous. i think it's also true for our relationships with all living things. especially people!!!! have a lovely day. steven