Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Giant Flowers, Small Potatoes

Friends, I come to you with dirty fingernails and a full heart today. As I mentioned in a completely ridiculous Facebook post yesterday, not only has my Big Rainbow tomato plant--my favorite of all the heirlooms, of course--decide to die, but my dear friend Nicole has decided to move back to L.A. (And here is the ridiculous part): Brooklyn will be less juicy and delicious without both.

And yes, when I'm sad I think in fruit-related metaphors. It's sort of my thing.

And so I found myself a bit confused and--I won't lie--slightly annoyed when I went outside this morning and discovered these gigantic pink cheerful flowers. Every year, right around this time, they bloom in our neighbor's yard, and none of us has any idea what they are. But each year, they seem to grow out from nothing and are suddenly there, a big pink reminder that August has nearly arrived.
Today, they were a shock to my mood. There I was, all ready to stand before the Big Rainbow tomato plant and mourn its lost potential, followed by a walk to work where I would imagine Nicole packing up her car (which she was doing at that very moment) and driving toward the city limits. But no, this was the day that the giant pink flowers decided to arrive. I think they knew I was sulking.

Or maybe they bloomed days ago and I've been too busy sulking to notice. (But for the love of Pete, how could someone not notice such a large, pink flower? I guess that's more of a philosophical question than a real one.)
And so I stopped and counted my blessings, of which there are many.
And then, feeling lucky, I suppose, I got out my trowel and dug around in the potato bucket for a minute. (I know, that was sort of a jerky transition...giant flower to potato?) The plant has started dying back over the last month, which I guess means that the potatoes are, um, ready. So I sunk my trowel deep into the dirt, and boom, hit something solid yet decidedly not rock hard. I scooped aside some dirt and there it was.
A potato.

The moral of the story is this: Blessings come in funny packages. And today, I was comforted by a great big bunch of gigantic pink flowers and a single tiny potato. I take them as signs of forward movement, for me, for Nicole, and even for Big Rainbow, which will probably go in the compost pile, generating next season's new life.


  1. The pink flower is a hibiscus, I believe(or in that family of flowers) It is so, so pretty!

  2. That little potato just about made me cry.