Passing a Torch

The Sarahs and I went to an organic farmer's market last weekend in Nashville, a wonderful tented place that had great deals on green peppers, orange watermelon and FREE kittens. Once we saw the sign for free kittens, which I felt was straight out of some kind of Laura Ingalls Wilder's novel, we made a beeline over to pet their tiny heads. The mere shock of seeing the word "free" in front of the word "kittens" accounted for half of my fascination with it. Who still gives kittens away for free? I'm pretty sure that everyone in New York charges a finder's fee or something equally un-farm-like.

When we got there, four kittens were left and, as the early afternoon progressed, they all disappeared. The orange tabby left in the arms of a young boy and his sister, a tiny black one mewed its way to its new owner's red Honda. One by one, they were absorbed into the local community, adopted into the arms and backyards of local families. It reminded me of the time that Steve and I flew down to D.C. to visit Katie last summer. When we passed through the gates into the baggage claim area, we saw two families waiting to receive tiny Asian babies in red jumpsuits. Tears flew into my eyes as the mothers were passed the newest members of their families and the siblings danced around their parents' legs singing "I have a sister!"

I like the idea of people taking care of projects started elsewhere. Is that an awfully simple way to talk about adoption? It feels like it might be, but I want to insist upon the simple fact that it's a beautiful thing to imagine and conceive of an idea or project or child oneself, but it's also pretty stunning to see the torch being passed as well.

My Nana used to raise African violets in her sun room. They started on an end table and by the end had spread across every possible surface, including the floor. When we stayed there a few weeks ago, we went around and threw them into one giant garbage bag; most had died because it had been so long that someone had been in her house to water them. One, however, looked like it had an ounce of life left in it so I brought it home in the hopes of reviving something in the wake of a loss. It was finicky for the first two weeks and didn't seem to like any of the places I put it in the house.

Proud to report that the sunlight in the laundry room has made this adoption and revival a success.

1 comment:

seasidesar said...

my nana & papa gave mom & dad these plants when they moved into albany, before i was born, and they've multiplied and been passed around... they're at home in newtown, came with me to muhlenberg, and are now here in the bk (where i have sadly been neglecting them). anyway, i think there's something great about passing living plants on; something more timeless and more telling than any inanimate object.