In the left hand corner of a cheap cherry-stained desk, there is a true blue pot. A chip blinks out from beneath one of the slanted terracotta handles. The plant inside it is dead. This plant has made a failure out of me, where downstairs on my stainless steel shelves, there are plants that should have died long ago, thriving in winter months and dry spells. This plant, however, only found its end. I blame the blue pot, as it is not the first plant to stop growing, to stop taking root, to stop helping me breath when trying to live in that pot over there.
The pot is not very big. It has a flat bottom with a wide mouth. As of most fire-finished clay vases, there are discrepancies in its blue glaze. Flecks of black and grey darken the Grecian blue that tried to reflect the skies and seas of the world. There are no holes on the bottom of the pot to let the water drain and yet, the soil never stays moist.
I bought the pot haphazardly, one day, floating along aisles of a store I forget the name of. I do, however, remember that it was spring and that the birds were rehearsing their choruses as I heard them in the store while people shuffled through the automatic doors. It makes sense that I would buy a pot in the spring. In that season, I fall for flowers as hard as any diamond. Their colors warm up my soul from the cold New York winter. And their dwelling places, dirt and pots, seem to fill up my cart during my grocery shopping trips.
With them comes seeds. Carrots with the potential to be yellow or orange. Cucumbers for the vines. Mint to smell good. And basil, to eat quickly with fresh, wet mozzarella. I like plants that produce early because I am not patient with them. For plants, I cannot wait.
New green sprouts are like gems to me. Glowing like emeralds in the darkest of peat and moss soil. If I could, I would watch them every minute of my life. Where else to find peace but in the moist air, inches away from damp dirt, seeing the finest, first children of Mother Nature? That, I could do forever. People who don’t know love need only to sink into a newly planted bed in the warm sunshine, greens and freckles sprouting in the melody of spring, and breath deeply the musty, fresh, beautiful scent of the earth.
I stare at that pot now. Filled with a second-chance spider plant that could have had a good life. I could have loved it, and now all I see is dry brown. The once supple leaves crack under my fingers, just as the zinnia before it, her flowers fell of so quick, I had barely a chance to gaze upon the fluorescent blooms in pink, orange and sun-yellow.
I brought the pot home and it was brimming with hope. It gasped for wet dirt, wet water, and roots. So I provided. With dirt-hurting nail beds, I tucked in a vinca vine. Long stems with heart-shaped leaves, attempting to take hold to a new life in my new blue pot.
Water, air, food, water, check. Good. Growing, more water, less water, drying out, move to a new place, more soil, more sun, talking, whispering, then, death. Blue pots hold death. And here, my third attempt is about to be dismissed. How hopeful I have been for this pot, and how disappointed it has made me. Buying pots blue of color does not mean that they are meant to be home. Sometimes I am fooled by spring into thinking I can hold it on the left hand side of my desk forever while snow falls outside.
Time to learn to wait. After all, apples that taste best, come from no pot, but the oldest trees.