For years, my wife would buy potted orchids from Loblaws and proudly display them in our kitchen, or our bathroom, or next to any window that would allow plenty of light to fall on the delicate, white flowers.
We'd appreciate these flowers for months, gazing at the hints of pink and yellow, the three or four flowers balanced on the single stem that stood like an antenna, supported by a stick in the soil. The tongue-like leaves, at the base of the plant, would spill over the top of the pot like panting dogs.
And then the flowers would drop off, leaving just the stem and the leaves. The orchid would look bereft of life, though the plant would survive for years, before we would give up and add the pathetic plant to the compost heap.
Try as my wife might, she has never successfully made an orchid reflower, and it would become a ritual for us to replace the plant every year or two.
Until the last attempt.
My wife never gives up on anything. And so, with the stem bare, she continues to ensure the plant has the right amount of water, careful above all else not to overwater. Just a spritz every week or two. For myself, once a week, when I found myself at the kitchen sink, washing my hands, I would let a few drops drip from my fingertips into the leaves of the bare orchid that sat in the window sill.
After months, we noticed miniature buds on the stem. We tried not to make anything of them, lest we jinx them. After a few more weeks, one of the buds sprouted a slender stem, from which a bulb appeared. Again, we restrained ourselves, and continued doing what we had been doing since we placed the plant in the window.
It flowered. And, as it flowered, we could see more stems and bulbs. Soon, we had two, then three (as I showed for Wordless Wednesday).
We currently have four flowers on the orchid, with a fifth imminent and several more on the way.
All week, I've been photographing the plant, admiring the renewed life. Capturing the moment. And, for my 1,000th blog post on The Brown Knowser, I thought I'd share it.
Because, with our history, these flowers won't last long.