Plants and Prayers

Eight thirty.

I’m a little alarmed because I can’t get ahold of my sister this morning. I fear she may be in the hospital or something due to the heat. I’ve just had a Snapple tea and feel fairly okay. Sleeping last night was pretty impossible. It’s hard to believe that I walked over to the store; like somnambulism.

Ten o’clock. My sister called back: she’s doing fine. She told me about a movie she’d seen on the life of George Gershwin. So I asked her if she’d heard of Aaron Copland, another American composer. And then my mind began to play Fanfare for the Common Man. At nine thirty I fed my dog, panicking a bit when I realized the food cans had no pull tabs for opening. Sometimes my can opener makes a mess of things. But this time I had no trouble at all, and Aesop had his chicken and barley breakfast. My magnolia is blooming like crazy; it seems to thrive in this heat, though I don’t know much about gardening. I always thought plants were rather boring because they can’t move. They merely sit still and look pretty. And yet there are times when I consider the trees and bushes my mother planted that have survived her. As living things, they carry on her legacy and serve as souvenirs. They almost give her immortality in a way. Planting a tree is an investment in the future, like having children or like writing to be famous. The aim is not to be forgotten, to be eternally true. Plato and Shakespeare both said something in this vein.

Eleven o’clock. It’s heating up and the air is deathly motionless. Please say a little prayer for us in the American Northwest. 

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