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  • Olga Kaleta

Requiem for Gloxinia



It’s a well known fact that gardening is good for one’s soul. I’ve never been into gardening. Perhaps that is the sole reason why mine has fallen apart.


Spending time outdoors is proven to help relieve stress and increase mental wellness. Exposure to soil, sunlight, and nature stimulates the release of neurotransmitters that help to reduce anxiety, depression, and Seasonal Affective Disorder.


I’ve tried. God be my witness, I’ve tried!


My friends are constantly giving away their plant babies. I’ve adopted a couple of times. I had the best intentions. But I didn’t feel the connection, no love, not even a little bit of sympathy. Needless to say, they died. I killed them and it made me feel nothing.


“I’ll give it one more try” - I thought. “This time will be different. I’m going to do this properly. From scratch. No shortcuts. No cutting corners. I shouldn’t depend on others. I must lay my own foundations here.


I have a bag of soil, a tiny little pot and a sachet of seeds. No tools but my loving hands.


There it was. The seed. My precious little seed.


I felt dizzy from the power I held.


My precious little seed. I could toss you into the nearest bushes, allowing you to fend for your own survival, and potentially live a wild, organic life as authentic-self OR I could plant you right in this bounded totality to live a phoney life confined by this cheap arse plant pot purchased in Wilkinson.


I planted it of course. And it made me feel selfish.


Will it give into sadness and stay buried in the darkness or will it fight your way through in order to emerge above it.


I kept worrying about it. Was it even there? How could I know if it was still breathing? Why did I ever feel the urge to put us through this?


It made me feel cruel.


So I kept staring at the soil, thinking as soon as I saw its little leafy head poking through, all will be forgiven.


But nothing happened. For ages. Nothing really happened.


I was watching the soil really carefully and nothing was happening and then I turned away for a split second and BISH BASH BOSH everything was different, everything had changed.


There it was. The little leafy head. Poking out. Audacious. Ungrateful.


All that effort and nothing really happens for ages and then suddenly it hits you out of nowhere and you realise that nothing is the same anymore. And nothing ever will.


It feels like everything conspires to happen without me…Life unfolds in any way it pleases and there’s nothing I can do about it!


BUT I am the one that planted the seed! How fucking unthankful.


- Fuck you plant!

- Why don’t you want me to be part of this?

- Oh what now?!

- Oh you want me to water you?

- Well, why don’t you water yourself you self sufficient fuck?!


- Yeah, I will water you of course.

- I really want to be part of this.

- I really want us to be friends.

- Do you think we could give it a go?

- I know I came in strong.

- Yeah, you could say I’ve lost it.

- I’m sorry.


- It’s just that your growth reminds me of the constant time passing. You flowers will die soon to blossom again in the spring…. Ageing doesn’t apply to you. Your leaves won’t be more wrinkled or less supple. You are untouchable by time. Sometimes I envy you.


- Sometimes I envy you because you live a sheltered life; all your needs are being cared for, your universe expands in harmony with your roots. You are your own meaning. There is no other sense of the world than the one you give it. You are free. You are safe. You are enough!


Our friendship was short lived. Her universe did not expand in harmony with her roots. They got too big for the pot and I failed to do anything about it.


Needless to say, it died and it made me feel like an idiot.



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