Monday, May 06, 2013

Mummy, When did Trees become Green and other Tales

In the wake of new interest in my grandparents, we've all been digging into family memorabilia. My aunt (my mother's immediate younger sister) has been proving to be quite a custodian of family treasures, unearthing old photographs, letters and diaries in her keep. She even found her very own diary, kept and faithfully maintained during the Mizo insurgency of the mid 60s. I'm hoping to do some work with that later for a little project of my own.

As the older generation has been ooh-ing and ah-ing over the old pictures, gleefully shared on a private family group on Facebook, and noting with some surprise and wonder at how tall Grandmother had been, how much one family member resembles another, etc, it never occurred to me how strange it must all be to the younger ones. Until a cousin reported that her little 4 year old son had been looking at the old black and white photographs and then perplexedly asked, "Mummy, when did trees become green?"  Good question, kiddo. Blame it on technology.

While on the subject of diaries, all through my growing up years I was a dedicated diarist. I probably got the habit from my dad who always kept one. But then again, with both my aunt and grandfather's dairies in mind, I guess it was a popular thing to do back in the old days. I'm not sure when I stopped but until the last couple of years, I still hopefully made sure I bought a diary come every January, never mind that I never actually wrote in them anymore. Recently, I figured that to help boost my increasingly flagging memory, I could make use of one of those unused diaries and record important daily happenings. It all worked very well - for about 3 days. The evening of day 4, oops, I forgot. Ditto day 5, and 6th. And 7th. Sigh.

On a different note, every winter I like growing flowers. Not from seed though. I tried that once and found it too much work so I simply buy seedlings from the early morning Saturday bazaars and replant them in clay pots, always with a little prayer  said over them after the earthwork. Through the late winter months onto Spring, I have these beautiful explosions of colour, and then as the weather heats up, they wither and fall off. Usually I buy only petunias because they're so nicely low maintenance but this time, I also got a few snapdragons. Around late Feb/early March, I thought I had cleared up all the pots but just a few days ago, I found a single stalk of snapdragon bravely bearing up to the scorching April sun and dry earth and pushing out a solitary bloom. Ah, late bloomers. I think most people tend to think of them as a joke. Those slightly weird, out of rhyme folk who don't do things in time with the rest of their kind.  I'm one, for one. But looking at this lone sprig of colour and vibrancy on a grey, soggy day in May, I think thank the good Lord for unexpected late bloomers,  so much more precious than if it had been just one of multiple blooms in Spring.