The Begonia is Blooming

By Danielle Harms

January 18, 2016

The Begonia is Blooming

You leave home. You move in and out of apartments in faraway places. None have a yard, and you dream about the green spaces of your childhood, where cottonwood floated between trees and covered the screen porch like a fleece. Then you move to the English Basement with a brick patio. You fill it with potted plants. Your begonia becomes a riot of pink petals. You touch its waxy leaves. It makes you feel wild again. It makes you feel more whole.

After a year you decide to migrate to a new city a thousand miles across the country. You daydream about hoisting the patio up with a hot air balloon, hitching it to your car, and pulling it along.

You pack, avoiding the begonia. You can't bear to dump it or leave it behind. You know the world is full of begonias and yours is unremarkable. But it is remarkable to you, so you rearrange the back seat. The begonia travels with you; the patio stays behind. At hotels it sits on the car's roof breathing the night air.

After driving for days you set the begonia in the sun at its new home. It grows in fits and starts. You can relate. Most days you are grateful for a life fluid with changes. Other days you are distracted -- where you've been, where you're going, where you could be. But as you monitor the begonia, whose every change feels immediate, you remember how it feels to be where you are.


Photo provided by the author.

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