Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm a Pansy. Are You a Geranium?

In our high school Semantics class, the teacher asked us to relate ourselves to a type of flower, with an explanation for why we'd say so.

My dear friend (and other half of the band's baritone section, which is unrelated, but how we became friends in the adventure) correctly and immediately identified herself as a rose... Someone who could stand alone, with an individual strength and beauty, but who also had unexpectedly painful thorns for those who approached too quickly and tried to get too close to without paying attention.

I had no idea, and made some lame guess at "Daffodil," because I'd always liked them since they seemed to bloom for my birthday, and I'd played one once (in full costume, thanks to my clever mom) in a Camp Fire Girls' program skit.  But I left out that embarrassing-to-a-senior-in-high-school explanation, and had no reasoning to offer.

My friend, though, obviously good at this 'game,' had an answer for me.  She spoke up and told everyone I was a pansy...which got a bit of a giggle from our classmates.  
photo source page
But she went on to explain that pansies get a bad rap.  Like me, she said, they appeared to be pretty, small, and fragile, but when frozen, trampled, or otherwise abused, they came back stronger, and continued to bloom and brighten the world.  What sounded, initially, like an insult, was probably the best compliment I've ever received.  Additionally, it's given me an image I've hoped to maintain.  --Sometimes that's good, and sometimes not... but that's of my own doing.

You may not be able to tell how dead the
plants in the basket look, but you can tell by
the weather, that they shouldn't be so exposed
Anyway, I reflected on all of that last week, when planting the pots of flowers to brighten the front of our house.  I retrieved the hanging baskets from the hooks over the porch... The baskets, that in my brown-thumbing ways, I'd left up over the winter, dry, neglected, and freezing.  Each pot of dirt formed a clod, shrunken and rattling in their respective pots.  The plants were stringy, leafless, and crisply dry.

But wait... There were teeny bursts of green, here and there, on a few of what seemed to be rubbery, dead stalks.  I'd never thought much of geraniums until now, but I am impressed.  Without shelter from the cold, but also blocked from any rain... With no water or care to prompt spring growth, they managed it anyway.  (Of course I didn't take a picture, darn it.)

I broke off most of the dead sections, and stuck them in within the new flowering plants, and they seem to be doing well.

So as much as I wouldn't wish this type of endurance on anyone, I bet there are people-versions of geraniums in the world... Neglected, cold, and alone, without the least bit of aid or encouragement, who make it through the storms and are willing to put forth the effort to start anew.  They would make pansies look like... well, "Pansies."

floral wallpapers

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