the end? – narcissi, revisited

The end was not what I had expected.

See: Narcissi

use the slider thing – very cool!

Written them off as dead, I had. 66% mortality rate. Pretty. Damned. Drear.

Turns out, the rumors of their death were premature.

Two were just behind the first one by a bit for some reason.


Again and again, I find myself making observations and proclamations about things (often cleverly, I think), only to find my observations were incomplete or badly timed, thus my “proclamations” often found themselves in the “just a bit judgy” or “way f*#@ing off” category.

Being a man of accuracy and keen self-awareness, it’s imperative I remedy this immediately.

But how?

At what point is it safe to say I’ve had enough observation, enough experience, enough research and knowledge, to make an “informed” judgment/proclamation/prediction about something?

Almost never?

This is where “real life” necessarily departs from science (I can feel my scientist friends cringing at that sentence. Sorry, it’s stream of consciousness day, and I can’t change it). In science, we can categorically claim, based on data, that something is dead or WILL die. Or can we? I recently read an article that claims some of our “conclusions” about the validity of “brain death” as a final determiner of death may now be in question. I don’t remember the specifics enough to elaborate – you’ll have to Google it. You’ll find it next to “Jewish Space Lasers” starting the 2018 Camp Fire in California. I mean, hey, the evidence is there, right? Observation. Conclusion.

So, back to my plants.

DO click above on the link to the first Narcissi post (<—– or this one right here), if you haven’t already. Those two bulbs were NOT going to make it, clearly. CLEARLY. Right?

Yet, some green remained, even as I pronounced them “wrong” and “failed”.


Anywho – as long as there was green to be seen, we left them as they were and continued to care for them like the other.

Today, the first has bloomed and gone. Turgor pressure is beginning to wane, and the top-heavy leaves are beginning to collapse of their own weight. It’s what happens. It has done and is doing exactly what a narcissus should do.

So are the other two.

20 days later.

“Born” at the same time, they, too, will now delight us with the rapid growth and bloom we enjoyed in the plant now past its peak.

How and why?

Some “observations”:

  • everything is beautiful in its time
  • “time” might not be when we want or expect it
  • there was nothing “special” we could DO beyond continued care
  • we NEVAH. GAVE. UP. (use your Winston Churchill accent)

And in the end, does “how and why” really matter? It just is. They just are.

And so, I am:

  • working harder at waiting longer
  • trying not to prejudge based on a limited window of observation or what my “experience” has told me will be true in THIS situation
  • resisting the urge to compare the “growth” and “progress” of one thing against another.
  • enjoying the beauty as it comes, when it comes
  • leaving the certification of death up to the professionals

That’s a lot to get out of 5 weeks of three narcissus bulbs, no?

Oh, flowers. Teach us.

Sometimes what we think is the end is only the beginning.

Your prompt Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS) is: “the beginning, the end.” Write about the beginning of something and the end of  something. Bonus points if your first sentence contains “the end” and your last sentence contains “the beginning.” <– Read that again. Have fun!

#SoCS comes from the website of Linda G. Hill.

Here are the rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.


  1. I’m not sure what “science” has to do with this, other than it shows how people “do science wrong.” Even the most solid of theories can be shown to be wrong (or incomplete) when new evidence comes to light.


  2. Plants are extremely resilient when they want to be. During the year of the polar vortex in WI (around 2012 or 2013), I had planted what was called a “winter pansy” on my patio. Pretty blue ones. In late fall, when they were not looking the best, I covered them up with a similar plastic pot and left them to freeze out their remaining days. Fast forward to March or April…I went out on the patio and uncovered the pot and guess what? The pansies were still alive, there was green. I was amazed because that winter, we were wishing for highs of 20F because that would have felt warm to us compared to the consistent sub zero weather. How on earth those pansies survived, I will never know.

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