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  • Gardenias are my favorite flower. I love how they smell. They are so so sweet, and the smell lingers. Gardenias like warm and humid weather, and so do I.

    I appreciate the aesthetics of the flower too. The pure white of the new blooming petals, which too quickly turn to yellow; the way they seem to touch, curl and fall ever so gently on top of one another. The beautiful contrast of the delicate flower with the bright clarity of the green new leaves which lay just beyond the petal's touch.

    This gardenia plant was given to me by my mother. The other day, we were looking at it, and worrying about it because the leaves and buds were drooping from the recent heat. I watered it, and the buds and leaves perked up again quickly. The buds did not fall off, like they have done before. I also told it I loved it (this is quite personal, but I feel comfortable sharing with you) and gently touched its leaves, because I read somewhere that plants you love do better. My mom and I were wondering how long I had had it for. About ten years, we decided.

    I remember when she bought it for me. I had recently been to rehab, and I had just left one of the three clean and sober living houses in which I had lived for about a year and a half. I was moving into my first studio apartment. I was nineteen years old, and having my own place was new and exciting. I gratefully received the plant, and basically I just hoped I could keep it alive. I think it was in the movie with Sandra Bullock, twenty-eight days, that I remember someone discussing getting a plant after you leave a treatment center. Something about learning to be responsible; learning to be a responsible member of society. You know, maybe try having a plant for a few years, and when it doesn't die, you might be responsible enough to adopt an animal. And to have a serious relationship. And then to have kids, maybe.

    I saw an old photo of my studio apartment the other day, while cleaning out my desk. It was taken by the guy I was dating at the time, Justin. I was smiling, and the gardenia plant was in the background.
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