There’s always room for one more, isn’t there? And I don’t mean at the dinner table. Although, yes, I have to admit that I overcook, and if truth be told, there usually is room for at least one more place setting on any given day. But what I’m really talking about here is a penchant for collecting. Collecting what, you ask? Anything from postcards, to earrings, to foreign coins, to souvenir shot glasses, to scarves, shoes—you know who you are—and on down the line to English tea cups and techie toys. I won’t even delve into the psyche of those of you well-meaning and loving souls whose cats number in the double digits. Nope. Not going there.
Most of us collect something, even if the collection was, at first, unintended. Some things just draw the eye repeatedly, and ignite that fire to possess. For me, it’s earrings. Lovely little bits of art, or creatively set gem stones, or even just the perfection of plain gold hoops. No matter how many pairs I have, I can’t stop myself from checking out the earrings at every art fair and gift shop. Besides being the finishing touch to an outfit, they always fit, right? And that’s no small thing these days.
But I think my strongest passion/addiction is my attraction to plants. No matter how crowded my garden may seem to my non-gardening friends, there is always room for one more. I truly don’t know how it happens. I arrive at the nursery with the best of intentions and a promise to my husband that I won’t go crazy, but somehow, I end up pulling into the driveway with the back of the SUV packed to the rafters with green, growing thing and extra bags of potting soil. We won’t even get into my new obsession for plant containers, especially wildly colored Talavera (made in Mexico.)
As soon as I walk into a nursery, my energy level rises. I relish the scent of damp, earthy soil. The tables of bedding plants draw me like I’m being towed on a lifeline. I’m a crow, but rather than being attracted to shiny things (the exception being diamonds, of course), I’m drawn to interesting leaf shapes and the colors of blooms. It’s almost like being in a room full of puppies! I fight a rising desire to possess and take care of these living things. I want them ALL.
I hate to admit it, but too often my eyes are bigger than my stomach; or shall I say my ability to do the physical work of planting is lagging way behind my physical strength and energy level. This is relatively new, and I don’t like it one little bit. After planting only two new plants this morning, and doing a bit of trimming and tidying, every joint in my aging body hurts. So, while surrounded with life bursting out everywhere in my garden, I find myself faced with my own mortality and reality of being…I can barely type the word…old! But, old or not, you will have to pry my pruning shears and spades out of my gnarled fingers before I will ever give in and give up gardening. I’m not sure at what point passion morphs into obsession, but I’m sure I’d make a good case study.
Meanwhile, take time to smell the roses. Seriously! And while you’re at it plant a couple of cannas for me (my latest obsession.) And next time you pop in to Tucson Botanical gardens, check out the earrings in the gift shop. Tell them I sent you.
Lynn Nicholas - AUTHOR oF Dancing Between The Beats
My blog is a window into my world. My slice-of-life narratives are triggered by life's