Taming This Tyke's Voice Since 2007

“1sts” (#3 Plant)

Some live to hunt; I came to life to plant.”


The first living thing I planted is a stem cutting from a “Camote”(sweet potato). My mother uses the shoot tips for her fish stew. I observe her while she’s preparing the food, when my child-like curiosity made me ask her how the vegetable is grown?

“The cuttings,” she replied.

What happened next, she picked and handed me one cutting from the waste box and there I was, 3 years old, planting my first farm of potato in a pot. I would visit my new potted friend each morning patiently waiting for any sign of life from the stem partly covered with earth. I can still recall my surprise one morning finding some changes during my regular check. It was magical to my young eyes seeing tiny greens sprouting from a seem lifeless piece of stem. The sprig grew long with the passing of day, as new leaves replaced the pared parts my mother used for her stew.

The progress are exciting source of story I told my sibling everytime they arrive from school. I have learned from them later on that the  steamed“camote” (sweet potato) we ate for snacks are “over-grown” roots of the plant. My curiousity of the leaves waned as I become more interested with the roots, observing the soil closely, digging its roots to check for any growth thinking of the sweetest potato produce from my potted farm.

My childhood curiosity killed my first plant – that same curiosity that once breath life to it. I woke up one morning finding my wilted plant, and no amount of water can bring it back to life – or perhaps I over watered it – and for the first time, I grieved for the first living thing I lost.

“You have touched its roots prematurely,” my mother told me. I know better about plants since then..

This is where my love for plants started. The garden brings back beautiful childhood memories. The passion remains in me to these days, the roots has grown deep in me. I have to mention that at thirteen, I planted my first bonsai tree, I gave it a name: Ethan. I am 35 now, which makes Ethan my 22-year old potted friend. My story with Ethan is still on going. It is crazy, but I miss my plants back home.


Shepherds Of Life (Senryu)

Hunters live to take

While planters exist to give

They’re shepherds of life.

~Ethan, my 22-year-old bonsai

Ethan, my 22-year-old bonsai. I’ll write about him next time.



8 responses

  1. What a sweet story.

    AM00000080000000930 10, 2007 at 12:00 am06

  2. Reminds me of being a childhood wannabe gardner, but never quite having the skills to get it right.

    AM00000090000004230 10, 2007 at 12:00 am06

  3. I never grew up with a garden, and having moved around so much, I’ve never had time to do a garden like I’d want to. Sometimes I feel I’ve missed out on so much here.

    PM00000020000000330 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm06

  4. What a lovely post. You are so lucky to have a potted friend! I’ve had the odd potty friend and one or two pothead friends, but that’s all

    PM00000070000005130 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm06

  5. wow! how big is “ethan” – how big do bonsai trees get?

    AM00000040000004230 10, 2007 at 12:00 am06

  6. Loved this homely story! And Ethan is simply awesome! What a special friend to have!

    AM00000090000002430 10, 2007 at 12:00 am06

  7. Lovely post Jacques..I was never intrigued by plants..or animals..somehow never felt close to them

    PM00000080000001630 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm06

  8. jeques, i had my first also in here reading your poem. i laughed hard when out of your curiosity, you killed the plant. such an innocence. i love that innocence and in my mind that picture of the child in you lingers in his pure wonderment.

    and seeing ethan, such a lovely thing. i never had a bonsai up to now. my dad is against it. but don’t worry the next time i see one, i will be much more interested.

    PM00000060000005630 10, 2007 at 12:00 pm09

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