Nothing Wants To Die
A couple of weeks ago I was out on the deck, cleaning out old dead flower pots, tossing the debris into a plastic garbage bag. Then I got distracted by the plans for Shel’s radiation treatment, and I never threw away the bag full of garden trash. Today I noticed that out of the pot shards, root balls, exhausted potting soil, and dried leaves and branches, new life had sprung. This surprise campanula is either proof that everything wants to live, or proof that it’s been raining non-stop here, enough to bring plants back from the dead. Take your pick.
I think I’m more in the everything wants to live camp, although I’d never deny that this incessant rain is driving me around the bend. Yesterday in the radiation oncology waiting room, while I was waiting for Shel to get zapped, I had a good look around me. Everyone there wanted to live.
The teenager being led away by a nurse, a girl so young she barely had breasts, trying not to show that she was crying, there with her father, who was trying not to show how worried he must have been. The young Latino couple with the beautiful and restless six year old, the father on crutches, waiting for the translator to arrive so that they could understand how serious the situation really is. An ambulance crew, one burly guy and one woman with shiny blonde hair, pushing a gurney with a small boy lost among its sheets, his pregnant mother walking behind. A tall woman with a lilting African accent, pushing her mother in a wheelchair, there for her last day of treatment. A boy of maybe 17, pants sagging, hoodie ratty, hair buzzed, grammar poor, holding one yellow rose, pestering the clerk about how much longer his girlfriend would be in there. An old man who couldn’t hear his name being called, a pre-school teacher with no voice, a toddler in a stroller, looking like he’d never wake up, and us. All there together. And nobody wanted to die.
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