Monday, September 3, 2012

The little vegetable that wasn't

There was this vegetable plant growing on my neighbour's property, at the front of his house. It took root in the area between the sidewalk and the road, in the narrow boulevard there.

Every day for a couple of weeks, I would see it on my morning walk, and wondered how it got there. Maybe it was from seeds that fell out of the green bin. Or maybe it got planted by a squirrel. I have no idea.

The leaves were green and funny shaped, and it had pretty yellow flowers that sprouted the actual vegetable. The earth there is pretty marginal, sandy looking and full of weeds. But there it grew, this little vegetable.

I took pictures of it and marvelled at its existence at all. Every day it grew a little bit bigger. I felt happy when I looked at it, a new growth, that really shouldn’t have been alive. Against all odds it grew.

I was seeing a living plant flourish in a spot where the soil was poor, the owners didn't take care of it, and who probably didn't even know it was there. And still it grew.

This morning, the little vegetable was gone. I looked down at where it should have been and it wasn't there. The small patch of grass and weeds were neatly mowed, with no sign at all of its previous existence. I guess the owners didn't want it. I looked at the patch of cut weeds and grass and for all intents and purposes, it had never existed. I couldn't even see anymore where it had been, where its roots had dug into the soil for nourishment.

It was so small, and really, I don't even know what kind of vegetable it was, maybe a round zucchini or a pumpkin. It was hard at this young stage to know what it would have been if it had grown to maturity, Well, I guess it wasn't even a vegetable at all. Really, it was only a potential vegetable.

It was the owner's property and they could do with it what they wanted, right? That's the owner's prerogative, since it grew on the owner's property. It was the owner's choice to keep it and nourish it. Or to just get rid of it.

So why was I sad to see it gone? After all, it was really only a little vegetable. I suppose it was just inconvenient. It wasn't loved. It wasn't wanted. Much better to get rid of it, right? At least it was only a vegetable.

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