Previously: The Martha Stewart In Me
From a certain perspective, a person who finds himself at my mother's veranda can glean the progress I have made: The sprawling oregano plants now need to be tied up, suspended halfway between the ground and the ceiling so their stems would extend upward as desired. The purple wandering jews have grown unchecked behind the sliding glass windows which I could no longer open because of the pots leaning against them. And without the rats digging the soil of the pots lining the ledge, the plants have their roots restored and are now verdant once more. One can only assume that I have prevailed, and that my passion for gardening has turned the house into a green sanctuary. But images can be deceiving, and the cost of my money-making venture is bigger than what a single photo can tell.
On the other side of the house, the fragrant lavenders have all disappeared - whole plants wilted for reasons I could never explain. The mint plants struggle to sprout new leaves, and weeds, whose seeds were carried over by passing birds continue to steal nutrients from herbs that are still thriving. In places of the house where the sun illuminates the corners, empty pots continue to multiply. Plants are still dying, and plans to replace them get postponed as work demands less time to go about the city. The late afternoon showers and week-long monsoon rains sometimes help in watering the polymer vessels, but at times when the winds refuse to spray the windows (where the pots droop on the iron grills) with rain water, I end up with wilted plants, with lumps of soil as dry as the Sahara.
This has been the concerns lately, and like the garden I have put up in sun-ward corners that used to offer nothing but a view of the neighbors' disarrayed rooms, there remains this feeling that I may have sprawled and spread out in places, but within remains stagnating. It may have been caused by pressing demands for material accomplishments, which as of late have already clawed deep into my personal time. Maybe I have lost myself in the cycle, and it reflects on how I attend to my herbs' needs these days.
One is safe to say I am entrenched.
Meanwhile, as new stem cuttings get planted on the ground, or old garden pots rearranged so it may hold more water for the soil to absorb, it is my hope that these feeble attempts to bring life into my shrinking paradise remind me of the feat that cannot be counted at the teller machine.
The persistence of life, no matter how subtle, remains a reward in itself.