Thursday, January 12, 2017

Photo a Day: Leaf

You can tell that the originator of this "Photo a Day" list is located in Australia, because the topic of "leaf" would not generally be suggested in January by anyone in the Northern Hemisphere. Unless you happen to have houseplants, it's not always easy to find a leaf this time of year.

I'm not a big houseplant person, but I do have a few. The ones I have, I have for sentimental reasons. I have several dish gardens that were given to me when my mom passed away a few years back. But the plant I have right now which means the most to me is a small sprig of English ivy growing in a little pot on my kitchen windowsill.

My sister and brother-in-law gave me this ivy as a small slip at Christmas. It's a cutting of the ivy that grew over the front cement steps of the house that I grew up in. It's literally a piece of my childhood.

The funniest thing I remember about this ivy is that my mom loved it and my dad hated it. Over the years, the tiny roots and runners had begun to crumble the steps, creating cracks and rough edges. Occasionally we'd discover that wasps or hornets had built a nest under it. And it grew so quickly that it had to be cut back several times a season so the steps could be used. But although he grumbled about it under his breath, Dad dutifully went out and clipped it back, or evicted the hornets, or mended the stairs, or did whatever had to be done so that the ivy could stay. So I understand why he hated it. But I'm not quite sure why Mom loved it so much. I loved it, too, for no reason other than that I loved how wild it was. It grew wherever it wanted, with no particular rhyme or reason. It just explored everywhere, climbing up the lamppost or shooting across the lawn or creeping out into the street if unchecked. It had more personality that most plants. So maybe Mom loved it for the same reason I loved it.

But whatever the reason, she did. And because of that, Dad put up with it. And took care of it. And even maybe grew to love it a little. Because he loved Mom a lot.

And that's what I think of when I look at this leaf.

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