So I was at Meijer Thrifty Acres a few weeks ago, when a beautiful globe-shaped woody plant that had dark green waxy leaves speckled with gold and pink spots caught my eye.It looked a bit forlorn, with the curled leaves dropped on the soil surface and the whiteflies buzzing about. Alas, I have a soft spot for orphans. More than once I've lost my entire plant kingdom trying rescue some clearance sale pestilent-ridden white elephant that should, by all rights and the opinion of sensible ethical gardeners everywhere, be tossed in the trash bin.
I took my new darling home, and treated it to a nice organic insecticide shower. Before I placed it in its quarantine spot, I was curious about the species, and checked it for a label. And the label said...."Tropical Plant." Duh!This has resulted in hours of sitting at the computer, clicking into plant sites, attempting to identify this particular houseplant by photo.
I never realized there were so many many many many houseplant names! I've become a little obsessed with giving my plant it's identity back, though, and I'm sure I'll be at this puzzle for ages until I piece it together.
I think this has something to do with how I have been feeling about roots and connection lately. I lost two of my dear grandparents to the next life this year, and my beloved step father two years ago. I regret not having taken the time to write down the stories they told me. My grandparents, especially, were my link to a sense of place history. I grew up in a military family, so we moved about every two years during my early childhood. This gave me many fascinating experiences with various cultures I would have never otherwise had, and I'm greatful for that. For a long time, it also left me feeling somewhat socially disconnected, as it was hard to make friends, or really gain a sense of FAMILI-arity or history.I never really felt grounded. The closest thing I had to consistently call HOME were my grandparents houses for many years.
Now that I'm older, I appreciate that family does not have to be about "where", but about "who." Still, I have a yearning for a connection to a "bit of earth," and blood ties. The few that I've found are very precious to me, and I enjoy the sense of wonder I feel when I come across something in writing about one of my ancestors.I want future generations of my family to be able to look back and find some sort of record of what my generation felt and thought and did and believed. I am driven to write down my own memories and experiences, and I'm encouraging my other family members to do the same. I want to remember the immigrations, the travels, the patriots, the traditions, the lands, the celebrations, the defeats, the kin and the kith. I want to remember the sweet and the bitter. I want our future generations to look back and see how little orphan plants with their leaves falling off and whiteflies buzzing about, persevered, survived, and sunk their roots in deep, wherever those roots happened to land.