Every morning I get up, take the dog out to pee, then turn to my coffee maker. (Yes, I only drink decaf, but you know it does still have some caffeine, and the steaming cup, the bitter nuttiness–that’s what I’m addicted to.) When I lift the mini-blinds to get to my coffee-bean-canister sitting on the windowsill, I am greeted by my orchid. Its smiling blooms bob and say, “Good morning, love, here’s some beauty for you.”
Here’s the thing about orchids–it’s worth looking at nothing but four leathery leaves for six months to a year, because when they finally bloom, they are gorgeous, and the blooms last way longer than a bouquet of flowers. Some species bloom for one or two weeks, but flowers on one of the most popular orchids, Phalaenopsis, can last anywhere from 60-120 days! I only looked up that data a week or so ago when I began to think that my orchid had been blooming for a REALLY long time. Like, freakishly long. I also found out I’m supposed to be fertilizing it. Ooops.
My friend brought me the flower when the boys and I moved into an apartment after Alex died. We moved in on March 6th. Guess what? My orchid is still blooming, even without its fertilizer! That’s a little over 29 weeks. That’s 206 days.
You know what else? When I got the orchid, it was sort of a burgundy and yellow color. Sort of like this:
I liked it, but it wasn’t the purple and white ones I love. I thought to myself, When this one stops blooming, I’m going to Trader Joe’s and getting a purple one. Why have I never owned orchids before? I love them. Then, this summer, I noticed that the blooms were no longer as burgundy and yellow. In fact, they were turning purple. Let me show what it looks like now:
Hum. Blooming for over 200 days, and still going strong, changing color to the one I really love, changing actually, to match the purple streak I put in my hair to mark my grief. You know what I think? I think my orchid is a celestial telephone.
I hear your message, my dear Alex, loud and clear, and I love you too.