Repose en paix, beloved Jade

Today the news is sad.

Yesterday I buried Jade.

It had become evident that she wouldn't be returning to life, vitality and growth. During the days I set her at the window sill to absorb as much sunlight and warmth as the Pacific Northwest offers – not much.

And during the evenings beneath her grow light. I kept her as warm as I could in my minimally heated apartment. Tended to and caressed her thin trunks and branches, void of leaves, with my hands and thoughts. And observed, watched and studied for the tiniest speck of growth. I'd have used a magnifying glass if I had one.

At the end of the day, these were not enough to save her. Her trunks, for the most part, remained soft, not coursing with her vital fluids, and seemed to be shriveling slowly, closing up shop. As if to say I have not the energy or health to return.

I take responsibility for her demise, while not overlooking the challenge of the conditions. My former abode (with the nazi queen) offered plentiful windows, with light from all angles, and warmth.

My current abode has few windows, facing only one direction, it's cold and on the dark side. It's a bit of a hovel, really. Then there's the environmental dearth of sunlight and warmth that succulents need. With ingenuity, that can be worked around, to a point; still, a dreary rainy Pacific Northwest is not their ideal.

I can only claim ignorance in her demise, the ignorance of scale. Which is a living organism that develops on a plant and slowly sucks out its life. Its natural woody light brown color can be deceiving; it blends so well with the plant, you wouldn't know that it's an enemy.

Scale brings down many plants, including jade.

By the time I put two and two together, through research, and recognized that her sickly state was not solely a response to the cold and gray, coupled with her cyclical winter dormancy, it was probably too late. Perhaps the insecticide soap was too harsh or I used too much or I should've left leaves and stems on. Perhaps I simply got to her too late. I just couldn't  bear seeing her looking so unwell and struggling and I thought she stood a better chance of resurrection stripped of her drooping weak limbs.


The transplants of her leaves and stems did not take either, probably because they weren't in good health.

So yesterday … the time had come to let her go. Living with a sick plant, a dying plant is hard on the plant and is hard on me, particularly Jade. I'm quite attached. She's been with me for approaching 1-1/2 years and through three residences.

I waited for a sunny day.

I pocketed a lid from a jar to serve as a trowel. I gently lifted her from her new soil in her pot and placed her in a plastic bag.

The plan was to take her to the park up the road and bury her near the small conservatory. The reason is because the soil outside my apartment is not particularly fertile. I don't mean strictly in nutrients. I have not thrived here either. Sometimes this place has an energy or vibe of "this is where you come to die." Weird; perhaps one day I'll try to elaborate.

Whereas the park is rich with good soil and growth and that little conservatory houses gorgeous blooms.

But, as I headed in the direction of the park, I couldn't do it. I wanted Jade closer.

I had to rule out the soil just under my window, plants seem not to thrive there and I did not desire that as her final resing place.

As I walked, I then thought of the tree, the giant pine I've mentioned before that stands firmly and protectively on the corner of the lot, and no more than 20 footsteps from my space.

I dug a resting bed with the lid into the soil wet and dark. I separated and laid down each of Jade's six or so thin trunks side by side and facing the same direction, like laying matchsticks.

I spoke to her my apologies with the memory of her beautiful and vital and with love in my heart.

I folded the soil over so she may return to earth, set a rock as a marker, lit and inserted the four pieces of incense broken from the stick inside my coat pocket and spoke a prayer.

My heart is heavy today.

Rest in peace, Jade.

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