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Jane’s Orchids February 9, 2012

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

It’s been more than two years since my neighbor Jane died, even longer since Alzheimer’s whisked her away from her home. I often find myself missing her, especially those long-ago musical gatherings: Jane on violin, Lizzie on cello, Tim on recorder, Rebecca on flute.

She had a big back deck stocked with bird seed. I could watch the birds come. I could gaze beyond the birds to the view, all low mountains and valleys and trees.

Jane had lots of land, and she took us on some great walks through her woods. I particularly remember a tour of her very old, large trees, individuals she liked to visit, each with its own personality. Once we ended up just on the neighboring property, at a remote pond with a short dock. I dangled my fingers in the water; fish surfaced and nibbled them.

Lali’s February 5 post, “Houseplant Season,” in which she writes especially about orchids, made me think of Jane’s. Jane had a long counter—against an equally long window—topped with orchids, some of which she’d had for many years. When there was a simultaneous bloom, Jane would gather her friends for the sight and the smell of it.

And now I wonder what happened to her orchids.

I don’t know for sure who owns her property now. I don’t know what happened to her art or her Steinway. I’m not sure I need to know.

And yet this week I am thinking about all those orchids and hoping that they found loving homes.


1. Craig R. Smith - February 9, 2012

A few years ago I dreamed I had bought Jane’s property. I didn’t know about the Steinway or the orchids, but there was an incredible variety (in the dream, at least) of birds and wildlife on the property.

indigo bunting - February 9, 2012

How happy your being there would have made me!

2. Helen - February 10, 2012

Somehow the comments make me sadder than the post. Just from the brief exchanges I’ve seen, you two seem like soulmates (I don’t mean in a romantic sense, of course) separated by space.

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