"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Friday, November 27, 2009

what is that smell?

We have a big indoor plant that has, miraculously, survived quite a while in our home.

It's a taller-than-me, palm-like thing. When I've repotted it in the past, I've discovered that it's mostly a stick in the ground. If I don't put enough dirt around it, it just falls over, because it does not have a whole extended root system like other plants.

It's not an exciting plant. It just sits there, looking mildly sophisticated, year after year. We bought it at Home Depot, probably 15 years ago, for $20. The fact that I remember the price gives you real insight into my personality, doesn't it?

It started out with us in a sun-drenched condo in the Big City Down the Road from us. Then we stuffed it sideways into a Civic hatchback, and moved it to a funky third-floor apartment in a big old house with tiny windows.

Three years later, we moved it into storage for a couple of months, because we had nowhere to live in Steeltown, and neither did the plant. Then we pulled it out of storage and moved it into the livingroom of our House with the Great Kitchen. In that house, we put it in the livingroom, because we were trying to disguise the fact that we didn't have livingroom furniture. We pretended to be minimalists when we were in there.

Then... we moved it to another funky third-floor apartment in a big old house, but this apartment was all renovated, with bright windows, and skylights, and decks. We introduced the plant to outdoor living in our summers there. It seemed happy.

A few years ago, we moved this ever-living palm to our current Little Piece of Heaven, from which we are never, ever moving, not ever. We put it outside last summer, but never got around to it this summer. This summer, what with the plumbing and roofing and flooding, it was mostly ignored for months, surrounded by piles of stuff from the basement. It got covered in construction dust. It inhaled disinfectant fumes. It really put up with a lot.

A few weeks ago we noticed a weird growth on the plant. We decided to leave it, and see what it would become.

And last night, Spike & I looked at each other, bewildered - "What is that smell?" A strongly sweet scent, wafting into every corner of our home. We wandered slowly around, noses extended, trying to trace the source until we met at ... you guessed it ... that palm plant.

Darn thing bloomed for the first time ever!


jarod said...

My mom has a Christmas cactus that did a similar thing. It was originally a graft from a larger plant, and they had it for years and years and year (I think in the neighborhood of 25 or more years) and it bloomed and hasn't stopped since.

I think it may be due to the maturity of the plant...some don't bloom until fully mature. Weird though. Very suspicious.

TLC said...

15 years and it bloomed?? Huh, who knew.

Dougie G said...

If I've learned one thing in my life, it is this: do not say, "never ever never!" Did the Titanic sink?

vjc said...

Can we get a picture? A momentous event like that deserves some more info!

I'm amazed it didn't die in storage. Maybe I oughta get me one of those. Home Depot, you said?