Over time i grew very fond of the bougainvillea for its vibrant color and abundance of blossoms. The day of the wind storm we were scheduled to receive a cold front. Of course, it was summer in Texas so all that meant was it was going to drop from 100 degrees to 80. When i had left the house before dawn the air was still and calm. However, i had watched the wind bend and shake the trees through the windows as my work day wore on. My heart had drifted down main street and back to my little town to check on my property but my body was still securely at work performing the duties of my job. I considered making a trip during lunch break but it would have taken over an hour. I would check on the property when my work was done. The drive home was, for the majority, down a long one-lane highway with flat land on either side. The wind kept pushing the car sideways and i struggled to keep it continuously in the middle of the lane. Ahead of me, i could see big trucks blown sideways with each gust attempting to correct and stay within their lane as well. Once i left the highway it was winding roads through the hills the whole way home. The trees were swaying violently and the deer had hunkered down in the grass beside the road. When i made it to the gate i could see the hanging plants swinging and the outer-most one was being twisted in a circle by the wind. I knew the hook it hung from was not made for the motion of twisting. I knew i had to intervene quickly. I parked the car without even bothering to shut the gate. I jumped out and examined the predicament more closely. The plastic hook at the top of the hanging plant on the corner was stretched and warped. It was almost a stick instead of a rounded hook. With each gust it threatened to slip. I had to releive the warped plastic hook of the weight of the plant and tether it to the metal hook in the porch ceiling somehow. I ran to the tool shed to grab twine. As soon as i found it i ran back to the porch, ready to create a make-shift hook with twine. I stopped directly in front of the plant in question and in the next second a great gust of wind blew, spun the plant around, and the entire thing came crashing down, splattering muddy water, dirt, and shredded blossoms all over the wooden boards of the porch, the front wall of the house, and the front of my scrubs. I even had dirt in my hair. It was an epic explosion of plant matter. It was as if God had waited until i arrived home to let it happen so i wouldn’t wonder how the epic mess came to be. It was what it was. The pot was cracked in three, held together only by the plant’s roots. The plant’s branches had snapped in some places. There were blossoms and shredded leaves everywhere. It was a mess. But, the tray that held water underneath the pot was just bent, not broken. I bent it back into shape and devised a plan. The roots would hold the broken pot together and the extra water tray underneath it would have to provide the plant its water, since the pot would no longer hold any. I would still take the twine and tie the plant into place with a new knotted and woven twine hook. I would keep the plant alive as long as it would stay and then both plants would go on the brush pile with the arrival of winter. So, i tethered the plant to the porch posts and relieved the tired and mutilated plastic hook of its duties. I played porch plant surgeon that evening and the thing survived the wind storm and limped along for about a month after. Perhaps next season i would tether the corner plant to the porch posts on day 1 so the wind couldn’t spin it.
What a mess.