When I was a kid, parents would come in and show the class of us little monsters how to do different things. Some showed us slideshows of their jobs, which we typically ignored. We made crafts that our parents kept even though they were ugly, turkeys made out of hand prints and ceramic pots that weighed more than Orca whales. For whatever reason, one parent must have showed us how to make guacamole (which would have been out of place in the early 90’s Virginia kitchen) and then how to sprout the giant seeds. Of the entire class, two sprouted, and only I chose to bring mine home and plant it, to my parents grudging approval.
And so it began.
Quite possibly the ugliest plant in my collection/jungle, the avocado lived through multiple moves all over the East Coast. It survived from the house on Rochester through the transfer to the “last house we’d live in” in Delaware, to the inevitable move back to Richmond for my dad’s job. The small pot was replaced by ever more massive ones, the tree sprouting green leaves that turned brown immediately at the edges, eventually overtaking an entire corner of the sun room. I continued to move, to college and beyond, and to my mother’s dismay had her continue in her caretaking role. Even her multiple attempts to kill it were unable to defeat the scrawny plant that even a mother wasn’t able to love. But alas, the tropical plant met its match at Castle Graystone, succumbing to a too hot and dry desert climate.
To have met its maker where it was to thrive is jarring.
After a valiant (albeit desperate) attempt to keep the ever-living avocado plant that I started growing in second grade alive, one of my longest living relationships has come to pass. It’s sad, bittersweet really, to know that after all of this time, that little fighter finally met its match in Salt Lake. I tried pruning the die back, under-watering, over-watering. Cutting off the sucker growth. Fertilizer. Chanting. To no avail. And now, as the last few leaves dangle and wilt off of its skinny trunk, I have to figure out what I am going to do with its remains. To throw it away seems callous, but it’s not like I whittle. So after a weekend of mourning, I’ll drag what is left of that relic of the past out to pasture.
There will be some sort of memorial, above and beyond the BLERG.
So goodbye old friend. It’s been a great ride. I hope that wherever you find your green-brown, admittedly sickly-looking self in the afterlife that you’ve got enough space, sun and water to finally sprout. And I’ll bet that you produce some great guacamole. Until next time, stay classy (and don’t forget the Miracle-Gro) Salt Lake.