I wish I could take credit for how crazy this houseplant is. Each leaf is about three of my not-dainty lady hands and I think it’s about to go kudzu all over the desk it’s sitting next to. I’m not sure what it is (best guess: The Mother of All Peace Lilies) or where it came from.
One day, I was chatting in the courtyard with my landlord and he said, “Want a houseplant?” then leaned aside to indicate this guy looming behind him in a ray of holy sunshine. Poor thing was abandoned by the previous tenant — probably because no moving van could hold it. I gathered it, not daintily, in my loving arms and bore it to my living room where it sits happily in a pie pan I ignorantly thought would hold all the runoff water required by a 20-pound houseplant.
This plant survived the week I went to China and neglected to find someone to water it, and then the week I went to Mexico and did the same. It pulled through the Broken Furnace of January 2012. Sometimes when I forget to water it for a bit, it shrinks to about a third of its mature size in a way that manages to look sad and scared and petulant in that way only toddler-like houseplants can. Each time, I pour two glasses of water and can actually watch the leaves brighten up and straighten out. This plant’s powers of recovery and forgiveness and putting hydration to great use should be a lesson to us all — especially my dried up, dead lavender plant.