Passage of Time


Friday, September 08, 2017

Today I am grateful for the passage of time.  I don’t like hanging around in a state of sadness, but when you lose a friend or loved one, it can be difficult to yank yourself up by the proverbial boot straps and be your perky-self right away .  I do very well. . .and then not so well.  A service would have helped me, I think, but maybe not.


When I walked up my driveway today I couldn’t help noticing my spectacular zinnias, especially the tall yellow one in the corner, because it started out on the disabled list in Spring.


We live in a community and there are great people who take care of our flower beds, lawn and snow.  Because zinnias are the only flowers that seem to thrive in the all-day sun at the front of the house, I’ve planted them for years.  When I dead head, I toss the heads in the back, so many come up from seed every year.  This year I had about ten of them.


When the gardeners came through I was fearful they would think they were weeds so I was out there putting signs up to not pull the new plants.  In English.  Except I know that most of the crew speaks Spanish so I walked over to the great foreman, who is bilingual and asked him to be sure they didn’t pull my new plants.  He understood, but being a bit OCD over the little darlings, on my way out of the development, I mentioned to the owner of the grounds service company what I had told the foreman and that I had put signs out to not pull the plants.  He had it covered, too.  You have already guessed where this is going, I’m sure.


When I saw the workers heading towards my house, I made sure I was out there to instruct them.  I’m pretty proud of my communication skills because I lived for three years in Jakarta, Indonesia and only knew 50 Indonesian words, yet managed to be understood.  The two young men watched my gestures and listened to my slow English with rapt attention.  I pointed to the plants, shook my head “no”, then did a pulling motion with my hand and shook it back and forth in front of me.  They nodded.  Good, they get it, I thought, and went inside to do my crossword puzzle.  I didn’t want to micromanage them.  Anymore.


The windows were open and the table is right under them, so I smiled to myself when I heard the young men yammering between them in their native language while they worked in my flower bed.  How sweet.  When I got to 24 across there was a loud shout in rapid-fire-probably-full-of-cursing, loud Spanish!


I opened my front door to see the foreman standing on the stoop holding the remains of the sprouted zinnias, roots torn apart and stripped of leaves, shaking them in the faces of the young men and trying to translate his chastisement to me without the curse words.  “I tell!  I sorry!  They no listen!”  He was not happy.


I was very sad, more sad than the incident called for.  I know it’s stupid because they were only plants, but it meant extra expense and I thought I had covered all the bases to save them.  That said, they were only plants and not worth a broo-ha-ha that would make the workers feel bad so I told the foreman it was okay.  He handed me the one drooping, sad seedling and I put it in a pot that was on the porch to plant when they were done.


Four months later and it is taller than all of the others.  What’s the moral of the story?


No matter how sad and droopy you might look today, as long as you still have your roots, before you know it you’ll be standing upright and blooming like a fool.  Just like my yellow zinnia.  Sometimes all that is necessary is a little water, a little sunshine, a little love, and the passage of time.

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