Planty

I did not expect, in the heart of a city, to foster some greenery of my own, yet I visit the rooftop deck of my house nearly daily to tend to six lil plants.

I have basil, lavender, chives, oregano, and a mini sunflower.  More practical than flora I used to take care of back in suburbia.  Purchased as teenage seedlings from the farmers market.  I’m not much of a chef myself, but my housemates have used my basil for dishes like lasagna.  It delights me to be useful.

Living in a house of nine people, I’ve found it really essential to carve out alone time for myself.  Recharge and decompress.  Sure — was it stressful to find suitable pots to buy?  To root around in the jungle-like backyard when a storm knocked them off the roof?  To fling off the slugs and pests that subsequently clung to my precious basil?  Yes.  But the quiet moments — when I’m pouring water, scooping soil, rubbing leaves between my fingers — are so therapeutic to me somehow; I always feel relaxed after tending to “my babies.”

The basil plant is my favorite child — the quickest-growing and tallest so far, and the most fragrant.  But lately my mini-sunflower has been hogging the attention, because it’s been blooming so fast:

All taken a day apart!

It’s strange how little hobbies like this brighten the other areas of your life, even slightly.  Like looking forward to growth milestones when I’m daydreaming at work.  Like considering herb-based recipes for my typical lunch.  Like seeing the rain and knowing that your plants back home are happy about it — soaking up the gifts of the Earth and fulfilling nature’s way of life.

-M.L.

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