Posted by: nightmistwalker | October 8, 2015

Greenhouse Skeletons

While driving around the town today, I passed the remains of the commercial greenhouse where I worked a quarter century ago. This was a family business which had prospered for almost 100 years. 50 acres of greenhouses had supplied the county with flowers and plants for a long, long time. Now, the family had grown and gone, and the property sat idle for years.

Gone are the chrysanthemums, geraniums, and poinsettias. The beds are gone, and only weeds grow in the empty frames of the greenhouses. What windows are left are broken. Just the frames – the skeletons – remain.

The property has recently sold to a developer. The “Coming Soon” sign has yet to appear. But the demolition trucks were out today when I drove by. Methodically, they were taking down the frames. I am sure they are scrapping whatever metal they can find. It occurred to me that this is the first Samhain skeleton I have seen for this season.

Work in the greenhouses had a rhythm all its own. We uncovered the poinsettias and recovered them with large black drapes on a rigorously determined schedule, which had the effect of forcing the red leaves and tiny flowers in time for the Yuletide season – two months ahead of when they would naturally bloom. We watered everything in sight, fertilized on a different schedule, and – once a week – fled from the sections of the houses where my boss (dressed in something resembling an astronaut suit) was spraying the plants. We deadheaded geraniums, planted bulbs, cleaned pots, and shaped chrysanthemums. This was just our section of the houses. Other sections worked with other plants. I am sure they had a rhythm, too.

The greenhouse was the place where I found that I had the power in my hands to exchange energy with the plants. I got so that I would pause just before starting work on a new row and visualize the energy flow from my feet through my fingers. Only then would I address the plants. I got to the point where I could feel the energy flow from me with one hand and feel the energy of the plant flowing into me with the other. For months, I could walk into the local grocery store and pick out the plants that been supplied from our greenhouse. Our plants glowed.

Time has passed, and I have grown older. Decades from now, I too will be reduced to a skeleton. For now, though, I  drive past the skeletons of greenhouses – and remember.

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