the spring the african violets bloomed

“they are very fragile – you cant touch the leaves or they will die.” how can something that looks so fuzzy and soft to touch be so UNTOUCHABLE? i always loved the violets when i was a kid. i would touch them when my mom wasnt around – gently feeling the velvety leaves beneath my fingers. so when it was my turn to have a house i wanted THOSE plants. for over 20 years i tried to grow the violets. they were scraggily, measly things. no blooms EVER. i found warm sunlit windows and carefully monitored their water. i read books and added “food” and special nutrients to their dirt. dirt. yes, dirt can have nutrition added to it. still the illusive beauty of the violets was not mine.

in and out of the dark days of the past three years i have continued to water the half dead, pathetic violets. i just couldnt choose to throw them out. not one single plant would actually totally DIE. some went down to one or two wilted leaves, but seemed to hold on somehow. there were four…..four disgraceful, poor examples of a prized and beautiful race of plants.

about four months ago i noticed a subtle but distinct change in the almost dead plants. deep in their cores i could see something happening. every few days i would peak at them. it looked like there might be life in there. a light green leaf or two popped out. one plant poked out a tiny pink bud. whoa. what is that? seriously? how can there be anything left in there??

today i have 10 large glorious plants that are bursting with blooms – deep royal purple, baby lips pink, bubble gum pink, something that looks like purple and white stripes, a gentle and amazing flower that looks like it is outlined in a dark magic marker. and leaves….so so many leaves. the leaves are what i cut off to make new plants – putting them to root in water. in 3 short weeks they become a new plant. there are 5 new ones starting as i write. sometimes the money i have spent on pretty pots out numbers my food budget amount for the week! my savings account statement glares at me and asks – is this really NECESSARY?? yes….oh yes oh yes oh yes! this is HOPE. this is the year that somehow these wretched plants chose to LIVE. i have to be a part of it. i have to choose it WITH them. i AM them.

i am on the edge of another great and powerful storm – a storm that will again threaten the delicate moorings i have leaned into lately. i fear that it will blow deep into the very interior of my heart and soul, threatening to drive out the last bits of light and life lodged there. it might.

i just hope the violets live….if they can, maybe i can.


~ by kate on April 25, 2011.

One Response to “the spring the african violets bloomed”

  1. I like your story it is very Inspiring thank you .

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