I really love plants. In particular I love trees. Many of the trees in my life have felt like friends and companions that I can always go to. When my first pet, “Noah David Frog”, died I climbed up into a tree in my backyard to cry because it was a place of comfort.
And underneath that tree there was a bush. And this bush and I had such an up and down relationship. It was so prickly and scraggly. Any time I was in my tree in that backyard, there was a risk that if I fell out, I would be stuck in this prickly monster. If I threw ball or a toy car or a frisbee, the bush was either too tall for me to reach the top of and remove it, or it would eat my toy and eventually shuffle it back under our deck.
However. Three things redeemed this bush.
It was kind of a monster, but that also meant that my older sister and I would give it haircuts and I liked that. It was unwieldly, but something about grooming it gave us a power over the monster within. The same could not be said for the awful rosebush that I once fell into off the little rock wall in our yard. That thing just sucked.
It provided vital ingredients for potion making. Yes, this is still just clipping the scraggles off a bush, but let me tell you, you could tear those little bastard cedar-looking leaves from this shrub, and they became a perfect seasoning for the top of a magic potion.
Toads. I don’t know how many toads we caught under this bush v. other places in the yard, but there was no joy as a child like having a new pet toad for the day. Christine and I would set up a little milk crate, catch bugs, and create a little habitat, and try not to get peed on by our new friends. And this bush always provided a place to let them go when the time was done.