They are alive! The orchids are alive!

I haven’t been posting lately because, as I explained to one of my friends recently, I get my inspiration when I’m running. Since surviving surgery I haven’t been able to run, therefore inspiration is a little on the low side right now.

But today as I tended to my orchids, it occurred to me that I could write about them.  My orchids surprise me every year; here is their story.

I own three orchid plants. I didn’t buy them, they were gifted to me in the last six years. Despite having them all this time, I know nothing about orchids, what to do with them or how I should care for them. I just follow my instincts.

I discovered by mere accident that the best location for my orchids is a window sill in the bathroom.  It is the only room in the house which is warm, humid and with just about enough daylight coming through the windows.  I say I discovered this by accident because I’m no good with plants.  You see, they tend to die on me, I don’t know what to do with them, so unless all they require is a splash of water every now and then, they are guaranteed to die in my possession.

I can’t remember the occasion for which I was gifted my first orchid, but I especulate it must have been a birthday. All the other window sills must have already been taken up by other things (mostly clutter, I’m sure) so I placed it in the said bathroom window sill, realised it was quite pleasant to look at it whilst lying in the bath, so it stayed.

Not too long after, I noticed the orchid was dying, the flowers had gone, the stem was dry, brown and clearly dead, leaves were falling, it was all very sad to see, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, so there it stayed showing all the signs associated with decay.

Sometime after (first orchid still dead), a second and third orchid were gifted to me. I can’t recall how far apart those gifts were nor the reasons; I do however remember the people who gifted them to me, they are special people in my life.  I looked at my dying orchid and decided it must have been lonely, so orchids number two and three joined it on the same window sill in the bathroom. I resigned myself to the fact that they would all eventually die. And they did!

For a while I had three dead orchids in my bathroom. I had stopped watering them because they looked so dead. Michael would often comment on how sad they looked. I somehow could not bring myself to throw them away. These were gifts from special people.

Eventually I stopped looking at them, I didn’t pay any attention whatsoever. They became part of the structure, the kind of things we get used to because they’ve been in the same place for a long time.  And then one day, out of the blue, I started to see new fresh stems with buds on them, new leaves were coming through too! All three orchids were alive! I could not believe my eyes! My heart jumped with joy, I called out to Michael screaming: “They are alive! The orchids are alive!” I was so happy to see life springing out of what I thought had for so long been dead.

Now I know they have a natural cycle in which they look as if they are dead but they are not, they are just resting. I don’t water them at all, the level of humidity in the bathroom is just perfect for them. And every year they reward me with beautiful flowers. Right now they are budding, I can’t wait to see them bloom again this year.


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