On Geraniums and Limits.

My father found the pink geranium in the garbage, bedraggled and sick, dried leaves crumpled in an ornamental birdcage that curtailed its growth, the stem twisted in dizzying spirals within its confined space that it was allotted. A kitschy bird perched on the dome grimly eyed whoever glanced its way. We did not know what color it blossomed until we removed its cage, the bird banished once more to the trash. There’s a metaphor there, somewhere.

Once it was given freedom, the geranium grew to heights we did not know geraniums could grow. My mother calls it ‘Audrey’, its monstrous growth and outsize personality reminiscent of the man-eating Venus Fly-Trap in Little Shop of Horrors. It reaches out of windows, teetering on a spindly stem too weak to support its weight, veering off perilously in the direction of the sun.

Shedding the leaves it no longer finds useful, pink blossoms used and dried, it stretches forever upward until it cannot support itself. It is then that we must prune its overenthusiastic growth, help it to realize what its limits are.

My father pruned it again this morning.

Some things do not stop growing.

© 2015 Anna-Christina Betekhtin, All Rights Reserved.


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