Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My fear of hostas

Well, to be honest, I'm not really afraid of hostas--mostly they just weird me out. Not the full grown ones, that's not what I mean, I can take or leave those. What weirds me out is when the hostas start to come up in the spring.

Hostas (aka 'plantain lillies' in Great Britain and 'giboshi' in Japan) don't seem to be single plants. When they start to come up it's like a colony of plants, several inches apart that, when grown, look like a great big leafy plant with long flowers growing a foot or two higher than the leafs.

But the dozens of little shoots that start in the spring look like body parts of some alien creatures. And I imagine, though I'm sure I'm wrong, their is a huge 'host' under ground giving birth to these weird and disturbing shoots. I'm sure I can't adequately explain what bothers me about the shoots, but I walk around the plants with great suspicion.

We even have some hostas in our back yard but I don't go near them until the leaves are big enough to make it look like a single plant.

And on the walk I take with our dog each morning, we pass a yard that has a dozen or more hostas. I won't let Bela smell them until they're grown since I have imagined that the shoots would open up and swallow him or else pull him underground to feed the mother plant.

I told Bern about my fear of new hostas and the look she gave me was not understanding or sympathetic. The look was one of those "don't ever say anything that crazy again or I'll send you to 'the home' looks". I get them more often than you might imagine though always for comments I find harmless and benign.

But the value of a comment is up for interpretation, I suppose.

I'd just warn you to steer clear of the early hosta sprouts. That's my advice and I'm sticking with it.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.