If you knew a natural disaster were sweeping through your garden (fire, earthquake, ice storm) what three plants would you save, and why? Would they hold memories of the past? Hopes for the future? Could they be a brand new introduction? Have a sentimental scent? Rare and expensive? Robust and vigorous? All are worthwhile reasons to save a plant. But what if it’s an ugly plant? Too large, too small? If you had to make a split second decision, which ones would you go for? Think about it. I’ve been thinking about it since we are transplanting, uprooting and pruning. My banana tree inspires me, genus Musa, species unknown. This winter it has traveled in a container between the garage and the outdoors, according to temperature. If the night shivered in the mid-thirties or below, I dragged it in. Then after a week or so of darkness, I would haul it back out, into the sun and fresh air. It kept those big beautiful leaves all winter until last week. Last week when temperatures dipped too low and I was too tired and too forgetful and too distracted to make it move. Once green leaves faded to black. Not able to stand the sight, my felcos came out I started cutting back. Soon there was not much left but the stem and a few small lower leaves. Also, a simple curled new leaf, pushing up in the center, slim, but packed with anticipation and optimism. The things that were big and beautiful, now gone. The things I thought were necessary for survival, not important anymore. Stripped of the outer, only left with the inner. Still alive. Maybe more alive for the pruning. Roots that reach down deep. Leaves new and filled with life. Packed tightly, yet always pushing, stretching, growing, changing. Will it become another perfect plant, like many others? Or will it keep the scars? Will the pruning cuts heal? The same or different? Adaptable plant, finding a way to survive and become stronger. Change that produces creativity. Change that sparks new thoughts, ideas and a new direction. Inside the bud, the closely covered bud lies terror and hope, all curled together. Musa is me.
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I love this! One of my favorites so far. Very insightful and poetic and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this!