Author and Doppelgänger in Training
Every day on my Pandemic Walk (a practice I highly recommend if you’re able to), I pass the nine Dwarf Alberta Spruce trees that line our front yard.
Now, as it says right there on the tin, these are supposed to be dwarf trees. Mine have remained true to their names, unlike the ones my mom grows at her house, which are humongous.
She can’t kill a plant even if she tries. As you read this, her snow peas are over six feet tall. Far from a graveyard for the flora, her compost is a place where plants go to catch a little R&R, and then they come back twice as strong. Full on “Feed me, Seymour!”
Before you ask me for gardening tips, I’ll just say—No, I didn’t inherit her green thumb. And no, I don’t know how she does it.
I’m the complete opposite. In fact, I’ve probably killed four plants just by writing this.
“Ah ha!” I can hear you saying. “If you’re so bad at plants, then how are all nine bushes still alive?” Keep your gardening clogs on, there’s a simple explanation. I had a toddler at the time, so my mom helped me plant them. Technically, they’re her trees.
Now, simmer down and listen to the rest of the story.
For the last eleven years, all the spruce trees have toed the same line except for this little lady right here:
I asked my mom about why it happens. She told me that the dwarf trees are still spruces, and that some of them are trying to remember what that feels like.
I know it sounds made up. I know it has to do with genes and mutations and environment. Shhhh...I know. But I’m not going to research it because I like her story.
My mom also said she had one tree that used to do the same thing—throw out an exploratory branch, see what it feels like to dip a toe in the deep end, check to see if maybe, just maybe, they might be something more if they dared to try.
She had to cut her stray branch a few times to get it to stop growing all wonky, but I’m not going to do that either.
It’s a good reminder.