It brings me great joy to see another Oregon Shakespeare Festival post on this blog. I hear the same exhausted joy as you try to explain all the great shows you saw.
A lot has happened in the last week. Donald Trump became the Republican Party Nominee, Harvard decided to sanction members of “unrecognized single-gender social organizations,” I had my last week of classes, you took a bunch of tests, the Glee Club held its end-of-the-year banquet, and I finished watching all of Rick and Morty.
Rather than discuss these things though (besides an endorsement of the television show Rick and Morty), I’d like to talk about Mr. Bushyhead.
I acquired Mr. Bushyhead at the PBHA Plant Sale at the beginning of the fall semester. It was a bit of an impulse purchase, because I was there with a few of my friends and thought a plant might make the dreary winter months a little nicer. So I took the jade plant, newly christened Mr. Bushyhead, back to my room, and set him on my vacant windowsill, looking over the court yard.
Over the following few months, I followed instructions to water the plant whenever the topsoil was very dry, and made sure the shades were open when the morning sun came through my window. There was little discernible growth, but his leaves seemed to be doing well. As the year went on, Mr. Bushyhead faded into the background as the novelty wore off and tests, papers, readings, and concerts began to occupy more of my hours. Nevertheless, every time I looked at him I was reminded that I had a responsibility to take care of him. So I watered him once a week (sometimes less), and made sure to turn him every once in a while so that his stalks would grow evenly.
As it got colder, the rotations became more frequent, as the side facing the window wilted under the cold, and the side facing the radiator softened under the blast of the heat. Mr. Bushyhead would occasionally drop leaves, shriveled and dry, onto the window sill or the radiator. At the end of the fall semester, he traveled to my girlfriend’s house for a nice winter vacation.
The spring semester brought more snow and cold, as well as the prospect of Spring Tour, 10 days during which Mr. Bushyhead would be alone in Cambridge. I was too busy with music and class and work to spend more than a couple minutes examining him for fallen leaves every once in a while. The days when I would diligently water when the soil was dry were long gone.
However, he soldiered through the isolation. The days slowly and unevenly started to warm, the sun, so long shrouded by snow and grey, pierced through and persisted with increasing frequency. And I grew more attentive too. Watering became more frequent, as the precipitation falling on the plants outside my window reminded me of the plant inside of it. Suddenly, it was May!
Mr. Bushyhead has more company on the windowsill now: the empty soy sauce container, the kinder egg toys, the star wars nesting dolls and my Harvard T mug keep him company. And although our strange college hours undoubtedly mess with his sense of time, he’s sprouted quite a few appendages. He carries a few scars from his winter: brown spots where leaves have fallen off, and leaves which are a bit paler and thinner than they once were. On the whole however, he seems to be doing well. It’s been nice to care about something for its own sake. It’s not like I get graded on my cultivation techniques, but Mr. Bushyhead has done very well at making my school year a little better. As just as I’m moving up a year, it’s time for Mr. Bushyhead to find a home in a bigger pot!