Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Power of Green

Earlier this week on RJ.org, I wrote a short piece entitled “The Power of Greene,” about the benefits of Reform Jewish summer camp. This piece is about a different power of green – house plants.

By no stretch of the imagination do I have even the tiniest bit of a green thumb. If I water a plant and it thrives, great. Otherwise, it dies and that’s the end of it. See that plant up there on the left? Two friends brought it with them on a visit to see me at Lenox Hill Hospital in December of 2007. Back then I spent 21 hours in the ER and three more days in that lovely bed and breakfast before the docs let me go home, only to come back a few weeks later to have my gallbladder out. Actually, "bed and breakfast" is somewhat of a misnomer since there definitely was a bed, but most definitely no breakfast, just a big sign outside the door of my room that said NPO, which stands for Nil Per Os in Latin and in English means no bagel or coffee.

But I digress. Back to the plant... At the time, even though it was the dead of winter, the plant had big purple fluffy flowers on it. I think they might have been hyacinths, but I’m really not sure.

When I got home from the hospital, the flowers dried up and died so I cut them off. But, there still was a teeny-tiny bit of green in the pot, so I stuck it on a window sill, watered it when I remembered, and went about my business. I had my gallbladder out, vegged out at home for a week, went back to work, went back to school and went on with my life. That plant, however, didn’t do much of anything. In fact, that plant didn’t do much of anything for more than a year.

That is, until two weeks ago. Two weeks ago, it exploded. As though I was watching time lapsed photography, the few leaves it had seemed to grow before my eyes and new ones sprouted from the soil as if by magic. It seems so robust and healthy these days that I wouldn’t be surprised if some of those big purple fluffy flowers start showing up in the pot soon.

In the meantime, whether or not they do, I am awed by this plant, by the power of green, by the rebirth of the earth – even in a small plastic pot in my apartment in Gotham – and by the eternal promise of springtime and new beginnings.