I forgot who it was. Friend of my wife, I think. My wife came home from work one day, the long slog up the highway and back over, a few shekels in her pocket, a slight aureole of weariness glowing around her, and handed me one of those nasty plastic pouches that have replaced paper bags at the supermarket. In it was an awful, dirty, watery fistful of hosta, given to her by one of her coworkers. It looked exactly like some half masticated frond a stegosaur might have spit out over some perceived unwholesomeness. It was too muddy to throw away, so I planted it.
I planted it with all the hope for resurrection I had when I planted the poor cat out by the swamp when she had strayed too close to the road and broken our hearts. That is to say: none. The hosta was nothing to me, but where else would I put it, but in the ground?
Of course it grew, because we left it alone and didn’t care about it. I’ve divided that hosta four times or so in the last eight years. Our yard is very shady, and there always seems to be one more spot that could benefit from its variegated if everyday charms. There’s a period in the summer when the long delicate stalks appear like magic from the center of the plant, and wave their delicate bell shaped flowers to the breezes, causing the hummingbirds to favor our yard like an Alfred Hitchcock/Doctor Seuss hybrid project. We croak the bird book, looking for the correct term for all those little irridescent wonders. Flock?Swarm? Gaggle? Herd? Pod? A murder of hummingbirds? We’re the only people who get them like this I guess, and so we’ll have to coin the term:
An unentitlement of hummingbirds.