Green, but pale

I keep telling myself that growing up, my attention was on books and sports, and that's why I never really was too interested in learning what sort of trees and plants surrounded me.  I could identify banyans, and gulmohurs, and Ashoka trees, and palm and coconut, and .... well, that's pretty much it (sure, I could identify a lot of fruit trees and several flowering plants, but only with the fruits and flowers on them).

I keep telling myself this is also partly because I was more interested in the crumbling facades of the delightful old buildings dotted across Bombay.  Which I know is a poor attempt at retroactive rose-tintedness, because apart from occasionally going "Oh, that's pretty", I never really appreciated the little details adorning the colonial-era buildings until much, much later.

I could attempt to make some flippant comment about being a city boy, but I have tons of friends who are the same, and are a lot more clued in.

I could try and spin some story about how the clutter of tall buildings and lack of open spaces in the city made me so irritable and desperate that when presented with the latter, all I wanted to - and could - do was sink my face into some leaves and thank them and tell them they were loved, whatever their genus.  But that's a load of hooey, because there's a great big ocean all around where I could - and did - spend a lot of time wondering*.  And I got to spend enough time in small rural places with wide open spaces, where people grew their own things and would talk about nothing but them.

I could say that the reason I didn't learn more while living in England was because everybody just kept on and on about their "little patch" and talking up walking in the rain to go see gardens, which inevitably made me go to the other extreme.  Except I did go on about my little patch too, which I miss, and I did walk in the rain around gardens.  But I still can't differentiate between a beech and a birch.

I try, occasionally.  I try and remember the names of the potted flowers I'm buying, but neglect to note them down and inevitably forget them. I look up how to identify by leaf-shapes, but then forget which ones match which.  I look up what sort of soil and temperature and water-levels are needed by the plants I grow, but in the end, end up just treating them all the same.  Some grow, some don't. I keep trying every few months.

What I guess it really is, is that maybe I'm just happy knowing there's something growing, without really being worried about what it is.  I guess having seen too many things grow when and where they shouldn't, and too many things not when they should, I stopped trying to obsess about how to grow them properly.  I guess I just don't like the concept of humans imposing their rules on plants and deciding what should grow instead of letting it all just develop on its own.  And besides, I'd rather let even weeds grow because hey, they're green and every little bit of photosynthesis helps, right. 

Or maybe I'm just lazy, and can't be arsed to do more than bung them in the pot and expect them to grow.

They still do grow, though. Mostly.

* Mostly, why this ocean wasn't as blue as the one as the one around Zanzibar and the Caribbean and Australia.

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