“I’m home!” My mom said as she stumbled into the kitchen, “Here I got you something!”
It sounded genuine, but I knew it wasn’t. She was defiantly hiding something. My mom was a terrible liar, I immediately understood that I wasn’t really going to get a gift. Her eyes pleaded for me to take the gift so that she would have one less thing to worry about, so feeling bad for her I did.
Maybe I wouldn’t have hated the plant so much if it wasn’t MY problem and sitting in MY room, but it was. What I still don’t understand is why my mom gave it to me. I mean I know she gave it to me because she got moved to a smaller cubby at work and it didn’t make the cut but that seemed like a lousy excuse. As I sat there staring at the flower I came to the conclusion that a gift shouldn’t be something that you don’t want anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved plants…just not this one. This flower in particular seemed to lack everything about plants that I loved. I enjoyed there fresh smell that reminded me of warm summer days when I would sit outside playing with my brother as my dad cut the grass. There colors always seemed to reflect my mood, somethings soft but sometimes vibrant. But the plant my mom gave me was beyond dead. Like the wicked witch of the west shriveling up and dying after she got a bucket of water poured on her. Like a rose without the petals, just the blood piercing stem that everyone cuts off anyway. I did however like the pot. Smooth like a large stone at the bottom of a water fall, constantly carrying the weight of the object above them, never getting the credit it deserves. The color of spring itself, the magenta matched the orchid perfectly when it was in full bloom. But the orchid was definitely not in full bloom and now the pot stood out in a different way than it did in spring, lost against the fall scenery displayed in my window. Unlike the pot, the soulless body of the orchid was right at home with the theme of fall. Fall itself symbolizes dying, no longer having a purpose in the world.
I bet at this point your thinking, well why didn’t you just throw it out, but I couldn’t because I knew if it was that simple my mom would have done that in the first place. It must have meant more to her than I thought, so that is why I kept it.
My absolute favorite plant was my money tree. The name right there says it all, a palm tree rich with life and happiness. But no, a money tree doesn’t grow actual money, it grows something better. For each branch is a different year of my life holding the memories of my life that will never be forgotten. Unlike my orchid, a money tree never loses its leaves, allowing it to keep my memories forever.
It was April now, five months after I had gotten the shriveled up orchid and I had just about lost all hope of that flower being anything but dead. When I went up to my room to cheek on it, like I did frequently it wasn’t there! I had mixed emotions, first I was disappointed because a part of me wanted to see if it would bloom! But my disappointment didn’t last long because just then I realized that I would no longer have to look at that disgrace of a plant. Maybe my dad had finally noticed how dead the plant actually was and threw it out, but that thought was short lived. Just then I noticed that same magenta pot that was once my favorite part of that dying orchid, but it no longer is…
In the pot was a flower so pink that it would have put a piglet to shame. With petals that together made the shape of a star, but only better than a star for it had round delicate edges much unlike the thorns of the dead orchid that once sat in my room. It had a velvety feel like the expensive fabric on a king’s crown. As I got closer I took in a smell that went straight to my heart, a smell so sweet that a thousand carnations wouldn’t do it justice.
But could this really be my orchid?
“Mom!” I called
“What is it honey I’m down stairs.”
“Come up here” I yelled to make sure she would be able to hear me.
“One second I’m doing something right now!” She said, sounding a little annoyed.
“Hurry up!” I said “You’re going to want to see this.”
“OK, OK.” She said kind of quiet, but I could still hear her. A few moments later she came up stairs, making sure it sounded like it required a lot of effort. But before I got a chance to say anything she knew why I called her up here.
“Oh my gosh it’s so beautiful! You must have taken really good care of it, your very lucky if you can get those things to flower more than once.” She said admiring the orchid the same way I was.
“But the thing is I didn’t take good care of it.” I said softly. The truth is I don’t take good care of any of my plants, not even cactuses survived with me. The only reason my money tree was still a live was because my dad had moved it to the dining room where he took care of it.
This thought kept bothering me, for I had judged that flower every day and I was so undeserving of its beauty, but still it flowered. To this day the orchid still blooms every year, only now it has nothing to prove, for it has taught me the valuable lesson to never judge anyone or anything by the chapter of their life that you walk in on. It sits with pride next to my beloved money tree, where my dad now takes care of it, and although it does not flower all year long it symbolizes something often times greater than what my money tree symbolizes. It symbolizes a fresh start and I now realize that that is why my mom gave it to me and why she could never throw it out.