Friday, March 14, 2014

Dandelion Fluff

Previously: The Martha Stewart In Me

The aerial garden has been confined to my side of the window for the longest time. Herbs have spread out. Some turned crisp and crackling, and have been replaced by new saplings; the vines have even occupied hanging pots belonging to other plants. I have given up on fertilizers; put species, whose leaves absorb more sunshine in ledges facing the sky; and gave up replanting those that die, naturally, after several blooms. With all the lessons, carefully acquired, never did I make a move to export my pastime in the other sunward corners of the house. The balcony next to the master's bedroom has thrice the space to indulge my passion. But with lukewarm support received from the matriarch, and with severed stems repeatedly dying a few days after replanting them, I gave up on the idea.

Only to resurrect it late last month, after my mother's visit to the doctor.

Like a mantra chanted, I tell myself repeatedly that "life begets life." It is for this reason I started gardening a year and a half ago. And as I let the days roll by engaging in my new hobby, I realize that no longer do I sink into the pits of melancholia. There are herbs thriving outside the window, and for all the comfort it brings, there is a part of me rejuvenated at the sight.

Back to my mom's hospital visit, doctor's prognosis needs her to take more pills and tablets; Maintenance medicines to check the cholesterol and sugar in her blood. Her lack of body movement, at home, add to my worries, and if this is not enough, she gets flu very often. And while the antibiotics let her recover after a week, its side-effects poison the body. 

This downward spiral has to slow down. 

The exodus began with two infant formula milk cans, some Basil and Mint stem cuttings, and soil mix made from dried rice husks. There is the attempt to grow the herbs at the balcony once again, only this time, turning back is no longer an option.

For summer is approaching, and my mom will have to spend the days confined to her bed, in her room full of dust-coated tomes. The humid air makes the heat unbearable, and as dust floats in the air, so is the futility of not holding a job.

Only the sight of herbs might take her mind off troubles and grant her peace. 

So the occupation went through, with two herbs from my windows, whose chances of growing their own roots remain uncertain. I was telling the house help last week that should at least one of them is able to sprout new leaves, I will spend my idle days nurturing an ecosystem.

Because in my head, I would like to see my mother getting out of bed. Dragging her atrophied legs across the room and into the balcony with the aid of the crutches, her face blank and her thoughts, empty. One fine day. One quiet daybreak. With the gentle breeze brushing the evergreen leaves of the lavenders and rosemaries, a faint smile creases on her face, and as the bushes fill the air with aromatic scents, there and then I would know, the expedition has succeeded. 

Not only have I breathed life into a forgotten corner of the house, the expansion will let a soul find solace in the presence of organic things.   

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