SHORT #25: Response of the Rose Geranium
nature has something in store for the gardener who loses their temper
“Oh, you stupid plant!” Calvin screamed at the Rose Geranium. He stared it down. If there were one thing he valued most in his garden, it was his Aloe Vera, and yet there it was, being assailed by the Rose Geranium.
Although Calvin screamed, the Rose Geranium just stared blankly back. He could detect no response from the plant. No remorse at all. Just a radiant pinkish purple hellscape of flowers, swaying back and forth, dancing as if mocking him. This of course, just made him all the more angry. Calvin bent down to the flowers. “One week!” he screamed “I leave you one week, and you run a rampage on everything around you!” Calvin generally thought of himself as a somewhat lazy and tolerant gardener, but a line was crossed today. He bent closer, breathing down the stems of the Rose Geranium. Then, reaching in with a hand, he ripped off a branch.
He looked at the branch in his hand, liquid oozing from the place where it broke. “What can I do to teach you a lesson?” His mind churned. He could burn it, but it was still wet. He pictured plumes of Geranium smoke spreading their rosy scent all over the neighborhood.
“No.” Calvin thought. “That would be just what you want. Spreading your scent all over the place.”
So he threw the branch.
It felt good.
Calvin bent down again, and broke off another stem. He threw this one too. Again it felt good. For the next hour, he screamed and broke off stems and threw them all over, and by the time his energy had run out, it looked like a battlefield. Hundreds of broken Rose Geranium stems were scattered about the garden.
“Learn your lesson now?” He sniffed the words, still angry that he detected no response from the plant, but satisfied at least, that this might send the proper signal to the powers that be.
It took a whole month for Calvin to return to that part of the garden again.
It took a whole month also, for the Geranium cuttings—so scattered about—to present Calvin with their response.
The first sign of the Geranium’s response was just outside the garden gate. Buzzing about were bumble bees, honey bees, paper wasps, and several other solitary wasps so far as Calvin could tell. This was unusual. The second sign, was a slight scent of sweet herbal rose. Also unusual, and surely a sign of why the bees were so plentiful. The final sign then arrived when the field came into view.
The bright pinkish purple flowers were unmistakable.
Rose Geranium is resilient. She does not die when she is broken—especially it seems, when she is broken and then cursed at. Instead, Geranium picks herself up, sprouts new roots from the wound, and continues to grow bigger and stronger. In his blind rage of ripping and throwing the stems, Calvin had inadvertently helped the Geranium spread through his entire garden.
Hundreds upon hundreds of bees were flitting among hundreds and hundreds of dancing flowers. There was a soundtrack too, of bees humming, and breeze weaving here and there. A field ballet was in progress, as Calvin had never seen before. And so he did the only thing he could do.
He laughed. “A response!” His rage all used up, it seemed that the Geranium—though clearly assertive—was not so stupid as Calvin had thought. In fact, it was in its own way, some kind of beautiful.
After sitting with the field ballet for some hours, Calvin found his Aloe Vera, tucked under some Geranium leaves, and moved it to a more suitable place. Today, whenever someone visits him, Calvin shares a cup of Rose Geranium tea with them, and boasts of the field, and the day the Geranium outsmarted him. He boasts of how the field now lures in pollinators to the rest of his garden, of how the Geranium make a wonderfully scented tea, and how they repels mosquitoes, and how, for all of these benefits, he barely has to do anything to maintain them.
“Go ahead, rip a stem off. Take it home.” he suggests to visitors. “You’ll have your own field of Geranium in no time.”
Thanks for reading and happy holidays. Here in Korea, the days and nights are both frigid and our Rose Geranium is taking refuge in the house. As Winter Solstice is nearing, I will be thankful to celebrate and welcome longer days! Good wishes to everyone for safe and joyful days.
Stay close to your loved ones, reach out with kindness to those who are different from you, and of course, above all, keep sharing The Possible City with all ;-)
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