butterflies of bone and metal (place)
Return to butterflies of bone and metal (place)
Yesterday the sky was entirely blue, the old blue for baby boys. Tiny pajamas with feet and snaps. No butterflies for boys, instead a teddy bear or soccer ball embroidered on the front. Where the baby can't even see it. And then came the dinosaurs, a green one on the satin soft edged yellow blanket, years later so tattered with comfort and bleached white like bone. The once green dinosaur faded away except for its fossil outline. Tell me you have never traced the edges of anything in your life, even with just your eyes. The silhouette of a face in profile, someone else's fingers, to the bones of them. For love.
Yesterday it was unseasonably cool, so under the blue of the sky, I made small attempts at gardening. Pulling up weeds to find one broccoli plant that made it through the winter, bolted yellow flowers had left seed pods, which I laid to rest. On my knees, I'd never buried an old broccoli that was still alive, so I didn't know what to say, until I saw a caterpillar and thought of moths and butterflies. All I said silently was you can grow, somewhat hoping for seedlings. I sprinkled holy water over the thin, green bones, now underground. For hope.
Yesterday I remembered the joy of last summer's garden, every tomato, acorn squash, the million green beans and the few rusty butterflies I used as stakes to mark the rows. Someone was throwing them away, probably because of the rust, but they held colored glass orbs, like marbles only better, so I saved them. For the rust.
Other years, I planted seeds, but if your choice was no garden or at least a garden using plants started in a greenhouse, what would you do? I suppose I could have just bought cheaper flats at the grocery store, but there's a local Veterans Hospital where as part of rehabilitation, some veterans are allowed to work in a greenhouse that is open to the public on limited days, for limited hours. The program started out small and seasonal for holidays with chrysanthemums and poinsettias. For the veterans.
I hadn't been there in two years and was surprised at all that remained the same, photos and flags and odd mottoes, in-jokes, the sign by the cash box, "The cat only accepts checks." There are photos of the cat, rumours of the cat, but I've never actually seen the cat. When I asked another time, the three guys working there said, almost in unison, "you'll never see him; he's gun-shy", then laughed amongst themselves. For things staying the same.
What had changed was the selection and abundance of plants to choose from, that and an overhead watering system that watered the customers as well. What had also changed was the age of the men working there. They were young and nervous, anxious to please. I bought plants I'd never heard of, plants I didn't really want just because of the look in their eyes. They had seen so much more than butterflies of bone and metal. For change.