When I was a kid, my mother had a collection of about two hundred potted plants. She would spend quite a lot of time with them, adding fertilizer, trimming them, planting new lily bulbs. But watering them was my job. For as long back as I can remember. It was my own special time, when I would be out in the courtyard, all alone, spraying water on the plants and also on the warm cement floor, cooling off in the summer evenings.
My mother had a special affection for plants with colored leaves. Purple leaves, red leaves, multicolored leaves. She still does. She says she would love to see an autumn like what I’m getting to see this year.
We had to give up those plants when we moved into our own apartment, because there was no room for them in our single, tiny balcony. They went to the village with my grandmother, and wilted away soon afterwards because her health did not allow her to take good care of them.
But they still live on in my memories. That garden has always been and will always be a part of my childhood memories. It will always be the place where we took pictures of my brother and me when he was just starting primary school, and had put on his new uniform for the first time. The place where we sprayed each other with the watering hose. The place where we played with kittens that the alley cat had in my mother’s closet. Where we learnt to ride our tricycles. Where we were children.