What is it when someone says they don’t want to change? I want to change all the time, it seems. When I learn that I may have thought the worst of someone when I felt down and out, I’d love to change and trust in the best of them in the future instead. They say you can’t change the past but I disagree because I’ve found that you can certainly change the way you think about the past–and therefore how you might feel about it at this stage in your life, especially if the shift in perspective allows you to feel a little better about things.
I seem to be at a stage in which there is a lot of loss of things that I valued in the past. The only way to “repair” things when a workman has carelessly uprooted and demolished the bed of red daylilies that have been in the front yard for over a decade is not to bawl him out (which I haven’t done although I wanted to) but to go online and buy 20 fans of red and red/orange daylilies on eBay and plant them in the barren space, this time, making a small stone border around the plot and mulching it so that the mistake doesn’t happen again.
I am happy to say that the poor hydrangea plant that had also been cut down twice (by the same workman) actually sprang back with some new leaf shoots after I rescued it last week. There’s an area of new white hydrangeas that seems to be forming a grouping in the front yard, visible from our third floor bedroom window. The rescued hydrangea will find a home there too, along with some pieces of old red brick that I will encircle the plot with, just in case.
It’s slim pickings these days at the local nursery across the street from Wal-Mart. I stopped by there yesterday after buying a small vanilla cone dipped in chocolate at the Dairy Queen up the street. It was drippy as I walked through the perennial sale table where I found a lone lunaria plant. They grew abundantly in the garden of our house in Lexington where the kids grew up. It’s also called “honesty” or “money plant” because you remove the brown papery edges to reveal a white, translucent inner shell that shimmers when it is dried. I had paid for it after I had decided not to spring for the tall gardenia tree in bloom on the asphalt, baking in the sun. The soil was dried out which made it all the more astonishing to see so many beautiful flowers on it. On the way to my car, I saw the owner of the nursery and asked him if it might be on sale. He said sure, he’d look it up and see what he could do. A few moments later after a $20 discount, I left with the gardenia tree on the front passenger floor of the car.
You might as well know that I have loved gardenias for a long time because it was one of my mother’s favorite flowers too. I used to buy them for her when I was nine while I was in Washington, D.C. where I took the bus from Maryland for my piano lessons. One creamy, fragrant blossom cost a dollar, the same as what my lunch would have cost at Neisner’s then. I remember that she was a hard person to give things to in those days and later on too–and that the gardenias were not always taken out of their cellophane wrapping. Nevertheless, I kept giving them to her over the years for special birthdays and so on.
I also ordered some when my second husband and I got married, just the two of us there with the Town Clerk in City Hall many years ago. So I bought the gardenia tree, not as some kind of nostalgic reminder of my mother, but because I liked it. Simple as that. Now, if that isn’t change, I don’t know what is.