Thursday, September 02, 2010

A cactus.

By Agata Zgarda

I used to be good with plants.  My apartment in Poland was full of them. There was a huge rack on the wall in the living room, filled with pot plants. I used to say I had a small rainforest there. Almost all the window ledge, almost all the shelves in my apartment supported some kind of  green species. Everybody said I had green fingers. I knew how to look after my home garden.

Since I came to Brazil my fingers seem to have lost their greenness. The tropical climate has changed them into dry sticks. I made some attempts at growing plants over here but all of them ended up poorly.

There was a beautiful areca palm, which became an ants’ nest after two weeks and withered. Then I was given a miniature rose bush. Watering it regularly and putting in different parts of my apartment didn’t do it any good and soon it joined the areca palm in the flower cemetery. The next guest in my house, a pink begonia full of flowers, shared the same fate.

Finally one day a cactus appeared in my flat. It’s been there a few weeks now and it’s still green and there are even some new stems growing on it. I think I’m slowly getting back to my old skills.

There was a time in your life when you controlled all the things around you and you knew how to deal with them.  However, things change.  Pantha rei.  Our bodies change, our way of thinking changes, the environment and people around you are not the same anymore. One day you simply wake up and realise you don’t know what you want from life and you lose your bearings.  Life has swept you off your feet without any warning. You feel as if you have been thrown out of a spaceship and are now drifting aimlessly in space, completely lost.

Don’t panic! Even in empty space there are some random flying bodies to catch and hold on to.  Once you get a grip on one of them, you’re home.  Some constant things around you will help you to build up your confidence again.  Step by step you’ll get back on your feet. Start with small things, like the cactus.