“Hello house!” I said, stepping into the apartment after two weeks away. (It’s an apartment, not a house, but I pretend.) “Hello Helmut!” I continued. (An old habit.) No answer from either, except the answer that is the quiet familiarity and Geborgenheit (security/shelter/comfort) I feel in my home. The place was warm, but all seemed well. I opened some windows and stepped on to the balcony.
I’d not asked anyone to water, in my absence, the two plants I have out there — some kind of vining plant with bell shaped flowers whose name I’ve forgotten and a pot of geraniums — for I considered them both summer specific and summer would soon be over anyway. Before I left I had tucked the geraniums out of sight of my L-shaped balcony so their demise would not be witnessed by anyone who might happen to look up.
The vine whose name I’ve forgotten now looked pale and rather worse for the drought I’d imposed on it but was still alive. Then I rounded the corner and was greeted — to my great surprise — by a display of red such as I’ve not seen all season. And this in spite of two weeks of no water.
It seems a human tendency — at least it is for me — to attempt to enlarge such surprises or sightings into bigger truths, lessons as it were, like persistence in this case or blooming in spite of etc. etc., but this time I checked these thoughts. I realized this could be simply itself, could be what it was: a delight of red geraniums, a small astonishment, an unexpected welcome back.