After frustrating telephone encounters with three people — spouse, friend, and contractor — I had a lot of energy looking for an outlet.
“I need some plants.” No premeditating, that’s what it came to.
So I went to our local nursery, Allandale Farm. Without much of a strategy, I grabbed several lantana, because I know them. Then I saw some dark purpley flowers whose petals were the same size as the plant’s green leaves, near a table tent that was lettered “Shade Plants,” and I took those. The tag in the pot calls them “torenia.” I nostalgically bought some coleus, remembering how, at age eight, we grew them under the tutelage of our third grade teacher, Mrs. Doyle, who showed us how to pinch back a leaf, so that two would grow in its place.
I nestled them together at the edge of the driveway, near a bare patch in a perennial border and a surplus bag of pine spruce mulch:
This was a few days ago. I haven’t put the annuals in the ground yet. I like looking at the possibility that they represent; I haven’t diminished their lovely cluster by digging them separately into the dirt.
Is this a tale about how a person can take anger and turn it into beauty? No. The point is that anger and frustration are urges that need a place to go and something to do. Another person might take an ax and split wood; I can picture one of my sisters throwing herself into a cleaning fury. A screamer would scream. You might write.