Monday, January 2, 2012


I have five plants--Harissa, Medusa, Glory, Nessa, and Pete. All are women and extremely youthful. I am terrible at knowing the species of each plant and of most wildlife and botany. Some would like to think that, "you are where you came from," but you also are where you are. Nessa was gifted to me via one plucked leaf from Jessa and Nathaniel's plant life in Brooklyn many moons ago. She grew almost immediately...I would like to believe that she began to grow within the paper towel I transported her in back to my apartment in Queens. She gets her name from a combo of Jessa and Nathaniel's names...mostly favoring Jessa, of course.

Harissa, Medusa, and Glory have lived with me for one year this month. They were amongst four plants sent to me in a condolence package when my godfather passed away. They were the trio of survivors and appear to be in it for the long haul. Harissa is named for her one bright leaf that she hides which I think makes her secretly sassy. Medusa was named for her random long leaves that monopolized our dish drain this summer from her spot at our kitchen window, causing my roommate Luca to name her Medusa out of irritation. And Glory is glorious with her leaves consistently in "testimony", reaching upward to Heaven.

I found Pete at the Union Square farmer's market this summer. I exited the subway intending to purchase some tomatoes but took a disoriented stop in front of a plant seller and decided to go for it. She boasts two new long leaves in the center of her pot. She is the most colorful of the five. Her name just tumbled out of my mouth about a week after I bought her, I can't recall my intention. Maybe because she seems like the little one, the little sister.

There is a new plant in my house. She's not that tall but her branches are long and appear ancient but sturdy. She is youthful like the rest. And there are some tiny green buds sprouting on her branch tips that can be observed if one decides to lean in and look closer. Like the rest, I am unsure of her species, but something tells me that it's new. Perhaps a hybrid of the spider plant, based on her spirit of possessing numerous and entangled arms reaching out to feel the layers of life and of previous lives that exist within the air. She is also extremely thirsty. And her country of origin doesn't exist. She is "where she came from", but not anymore, at least. And she seems content knowing this, and is ready to grow in her new homeland. Perhaps I miscounted. There are six plants in my house.

The sixth one is named Erica. Please water her.

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