Pretty Things

Life on an island can be difficult. I know…hard to believe. But true. It is a harsh place to exist, actually…at least my rock. Arid, hot and dusty…not really the tropical isle of one’s dreams.

Still, there are these little moments where, if you pay attention, your rock reminds you that, hey, it might be harsh but it’s still home, sweet, home and filled with pretty things that belie their strength.

It lives, it lives. (Young Frankenstein reference right there…)

To wit…a simple bloom. Not just any bloom, mind you. But one bursting forth on a shrub, previously thought to be dead. One that Island Boy accidentally took down when felling a neighboring, ant-infested tree. When the unfortunate incident occurred, I wrote off the pretty shrub. I assumed it had gone on to meet its maker.

And, at the time, I was really irritated. After all, pretty is hard to come by here sometimes. So the unexpected loss of the mature white blooming shrub just beyond my living room window did not put me in a happy place. And I let my impromptu gardener know it. We have a real gardener, by the way. A professional one, with a crew and everything. One whom I never find cause to yell at. (If I did, I imagine it would have to occur while I am wearing an overpriced chiffon kimono and clutching a half-empty martini glass while standing on the pool deck. In high heels. Speaking fluent Spanish. None of which seems likely anytime soon – especially the Spanish. Can you tell I watch a lot of movies?)

But back to Island Boy for a second. Sometimes he gets bored. Then he gets the yard tools. It usually doesn’t end well. Which is how we came to this story in the first place.

So, the other night – months after the unfortunate gardening incident – as we were leaving the house around sunset to walk to a neighbor’s bbq, I was surprised to see the assumed-deceased shrub had sprung back to life. And was bearing a cluster of beautiful white blooms. Turns out, plants can’t actually be killed all that easily here. They are hardy and tough and actually flourish in adversity. (Life lesson here, people.)

This is a secret Island Boy, with his infinite more number of years living here, already knew, by the way. But he has enough sense not to try and explain that to me the day he “killed” the shrub. He just waited. Patiently. Which, of course, is why I love him. I am crazy and impulsive, he is steady and relaxed. Opposites attract and all that.

So I plucked one of the precious blooms and tucked it behind my ear. That in itself is one special thing about living someplace tropical. The immediate accessibility of lovely accessories for life. Then later, at the party, I gave the bloom to a cranky two-year old who was having a bit of a meltdown. It appeased her, too. For a little while, at least.


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