Wednesday, September 19, 2007
RESCUE ME: The Plant Edition
My mom rescues plants the same way I rescue animals (read my animal rescue posts here, here, and here...
and here, here, here, and here...ahem):
compulsively. The woman cannot turn her back on a plant in need. She'll often poke her head into the garbage room on our floor to make sure someone hasn't abandoned a potted plant. She'll keep her eyes peeled on the street for discarded planters outside homes. So often, she comes home clutching houseplants thrown out by folks she's deemed negligent in their role as caretakers. A few times, the plants appeared so, well, dead, that I wasn't surprised they'd been chucked in the first place. She clucks her tongue at the carelessness that's caused such a wretched situation and always, always nurses the plants back to life.
Recently, my mother's been obsessed with what appears to be a variety of money plant that's growing at the edge of someone's front yard. She finds herself walking by it almost daily. Having had countless opportunities to examine the haphazardly located and desperate-looking tuft of vegetation, she's determined that the money plant must be rescued! She declared to me that those homeowners have no desire to cultivate the plant and that it will surely perish in the fast-approaching winter. We cased the property on our way back from the local fruit and vegetable market around a month ago and, I must agree, that she's right. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would want such an ugly plant anywhere near their property (or, for that matter, in her living room, as my mom does). A week after we cased the joint, Amma made away with half of the money plant ("I would've taken all of it but I became worried that someone would see me," she explained when I asked her later why she'd left the other half to languish). I'm happy to report that the rescued half has been lovingly restored to an alert and glossy green; it now resides in a lovely terra cotta pot.
My mother, however, is very concerned about the uncared for portion of the plant that remains, wilted, unhappy, and destined to meet a chilly and bitter end. Just today, she approached me, her eyes moist with concern: "I need to grab what's left of the plant, Sabila--," and before she could even finish, I tapped into every bit of rescue reserve I have in me, and said, "Amma, I promise I'll accompany you whenever you're ready to rescue the plant."
We nodded at each other without another word.