Peacock tail feathers up close.
Peacock tail feathers up close.

Only Mostly Dead

This was a harsh winter. The only plants that seemed to survive were the weeds. My bay plant, rumored to be more than 50 years old, died. We cut it down and this is all that’s left.

The Bay Stump.
The Bay Stump.

It was fragrant as we burned the old bay branches, in a funeral pyre sort of way. As we were chopping down and burning up the old bay plant, my mind was wandering and worrying about the nearby fig trees. I would go outside and snap a branch and hold my breath and hope that it was just late to leaf out and that these two fig trees were sleepy and taking their time to unfold after this extreme winter.

Just "mostly dead."
Just “mostly dead.”

Then I saw a little green! Turns out, the fig trees are only “mostly dead.” In the movie The Princess Bride, Miracle Max declares Wesley “mostly dead.” The trees are leafing out from the base of the trunk and I am going to need Miracle Max to come and help me coax them back to life. I will call my uncle, a botanist, and ask him for help: he’s a little like Miracle Max for trees.

There is hope!
There is hope!

Perhaps their intentions are noble and the fact that I love them will be enough. The fig trees know that I bought this house just for them. They have listened to me play my flute outside the window for the last couple of months. Together we have suffered through hours of practicing as I prepared to play principal flute in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Then again, maybe this has contributed to their demise.

This clip is from a recent concert, taken on the sly from my friend’s lap. Her skirt is lovely isn’t it? This  bit of the third movement is a piece of what the trees have been listening to from outside the window. Have a listen if you want to know what I’ve been up to lately and let me know how your plants fared this winter!

© copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

7 responses to “Only Mostly Dead”

  1. Beautiful music! (was that Valerie’s lap?) 🙂 No wonder there’s still life left in those trees! 🙂 Keep playing and they will probably pop back totally to life! 🙂


  2. Oh Mariam, you revived my dead spirit tonight. I needed to hear that so much. I feel a bit like a dead branch. Funny how a few words can have such a deep effect. Thank you.


    • The trees and I know that sometimes music will touch your soul. And this winter’s Beethoven was just what we needed! The perfect medicine.


  3. Well written. Loved the Adagio at the concert. So glad someone recorded it. I need to find the CD & I get out more often.

    Early voting starts tomorrow, everyone! Please vote.

    We’re electing candidates for the Board of Education, County Council, County Executive, county & state attorney generals, Federal & county senators; county sheriff & other officials. See you at the pols!


  4. I lost my bay too, and both my rosemary bushes. The bay is sprouting though, like your fig. I hope your fig grows back strong, they are so delicious.
    I’m so sorry we missed your concert, thanks for sharing Valerie’s experience with us.


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