Things I will miss
I moved this summer, from a house I’d lived in for 15 years. Now that it’s up for sale–the realtors are holding an open house there today, in fact–I keep thinking of all the things I will miss about it. So I thought I’d put a few of them out there, as a way of saying good-bye.
A few years ago, two big Japanese maples stood near the deck, giving generous shade.
And then a sprinkler head shifted, and I didn’t notice, and a year later one of the maples began to look a little unhappy…
When I investigated more closely, I found that the sprinkler had been keeping the bark wet for months on end. Wet bark rots. And when a tree has no bark, the nutriments don’t reach the leaves. Despite all my efforts of first aid, carving back first one branch, then another, the tree died.
Having dead wood where once a luscious maple grew is a depressing thing.
But when I looked at it, I remembered a thing I had seen at my daughter-in-law’s house in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, a gorgeously blooming armful of orchid nestling in the branches of a tree (that one living—in the tropics, trees that don’t care for the wet don’t live past the seedling stage.) And I thought, I wonder if one of the house orchids would grow outside? So I took two or three of the scruffier-looking specimens, wrapped their roots in those little peat pots with some growing medium, strapped them into place, and ran a dripper hose up into the tree.
And wouldn’t you know it? After three years of sitting there, just as I was packing up, the first one threw out a bud.
And as I carried and scrubbed and emptied the house, the orchids bloomed.
And kept blooming. Almost as if they were trying to tell me something.
I’m eyeing the trees in my new house, wondering if any of them might be persuaded to die.