Will the tree bloom again?

Shortly after Mabel died, my workplace gifted me a beautiful 50 year old bonsai tree. “It’s Mabel’s tree,” they said. I was both wowed byt the gift and made a little nervous. It was beautiful in its small twisting branches, tortured roots and delicate green leaves. But it was also a living thing. Something that could die. Chris and I don’t have the best track record for caring for houseplants and now we were entrusted with keeping a fifty year old tree alive, in Mabel’s name no less. We couldn’t keep a baby alive, how were we to keep a tree alive? It felt like a huge responsibility. Watering was more than just bringing a watering can- the tree needed a bath every week. Little by little we cared for the tree, keeping it alive until the months warmed and we were able to keep it outside. Direct sun, fresh rain decreased our burden and the tree continued to live. When the weather got very hot those delicate green leaves started to turn brown. Maybe it was too hot, maybe it was neglect on our part, but the tree didn’t look so good. Chris reassured me that this type of bonsai was seasonal, but I was doubtful. The leaves fell off slowly as we brought the tree inside for the fall months. As I stared at the barren branches while the weather grew colder, Chris still reassured me, that despite appearances the tree was not dead. We continued to bathe the tree in hopes that it would survive the winter.

Come the New Year, Chris looked over at the tree and noted some little buds on the bare branches. Sure enough, the tree still has life.

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Should I take this as a sign of better things to come?

Have you seen any signs of hope lately?

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6 thoughts on “Will the tree bloom again?

  1. I can relate with your fears. After Sinza died, some people advised me to plant a tree in her memory..and I immediately thought; what if that tree dies? I just couldn’t take the chance, so I never planted the tree. I am so glad your tree is still alive!

    • yes- it’s a common suggestion- plant a tree, a flower bush, etc, but our fears of it dying I think are so reasonable. It’s a funny thing that when our babies die, we are gifted many plants and flowers- things that eventually do die, so we are often left with a house full of dead plants a few weeks after our babies die.

  2. We got a bonsai too, as well as a peace lily and a few other plants, and I had the same fear – that they would all die! I was devastated when my cat knocked over an orchid I had gotten as well. Living things are nervewracking to receive!

    • perhaps bonsais are good gifts- sturdy, unkillable? that’s the best kind! I too got an orchid- a beautiful ice cube one (the kind you give an ice cube once a week to), and sure enough, that was too much responsibility for me too! I need really really sturdy plants.

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