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Perennial…

 

Several years ago, a plant was brought home to brighten the back deck.  It was not yet in bloom but it had lush green foliage and the florist had said it was a daisy plant.  (I knew very little about plants myself.)  Looking forward to having a pot of bright daisies in time, I waited.  As the weeks went by, the plant seemed to thrive, but no blooms appeared.  Perhaps it would bloom when the weather cooled a bit in the Fall.  Perhaps the florist had mistakenly identified it?  Perhaps it wasn’t a flowering plant at all?  As the days shortened and the weather grew increasingly cool, the leaves began to turn brown and die.  The plant had had its season.  It was tucked away under the deck and, for a time, forgotten.

That winter was a cold and a stormy one, with lots of snow.  It wasn’t until the Spring that I noticed that the plant, which had been buried under the snow and forgotten, had begun to sprout new leaves.  I was amazed.  Evidently this plant was a perennial and not an annual as I had assumed.  No matter that it had appeared dead, no matter the harsh weather conditions, it had continued to sustain an inner life of its own, unbeknownst to me.

So I cleared off the snow still clinging to some of its branches, and returned it to the top of the deck where I watched its steady growth from my kitchen door.  Eventually it was as green and as lush as it had ever been.  I still thought of it as “the daisy plant” although it never flowered.  In late Fall when the leaves turned brown and began to wither, it was placed, once again, under the deck, in the hopes it would survive as it had before.

And it did.  As Spring gave way to Summer, and Summer gave way to early Fall, the plant gave birth to and offered its bright green foliage for all the world to see.   Soon the season would end, and it would be time to tuck away the plant under the deck in the hopes it would make it once again. 

Then it happened.  As most of the leaves began turning yellow, then brown, with some falling off, at the end of one, still-green stalk, a bud appeared.  Just the one.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Over the next few days as the bud developed, a tip of white appeared.  Now I can see petals thrusting upwards in their attempt to emerge.  As I write this it is mid-October and the nights are growing colder.  I don’t yet know if it will be able to bloom before the frost takes its toll.  But one thing I know for certain.  It is, indeed, a daisy plant.  And it has been, all along.

- Gail Fillion