I’m not even sure when we bought it, or if it was the only plant we purchased that day (or what day of the week or time of year it was when we picked it out of the pile of others), or if I gave it a first or second thought. I do know that Sheryl put it in the soil. She personally plants every flower, sage, grass or sedum we welcome into our yard and garden.
I first noticed it in the middle of a hot summer in 2005. Sheryl had planted the sedum in the center of an old, short, steel garbage can we had picked up at a yard sale. Like most desert plants, it didn’t need much water, but we had been particularly inattentive to its needs. Neither of us could remember the last time either of us had watered it, but there it was, fighting, determined to live regardless. I admired its resiliency, growing boldly in neglected soil, and from that moment on, I took personal interest in its care.
We transplanted it from the garbage can to the lush soil of our front yard. It doubled in size the first year in the new location, tripled the year after. Whenever I would return home, I would walk past the sedum on my way inside. It always caught my attention. It gave me happiness, seeing it there.
When we sold our house in Salt Lake, the hardest part of moving was leaving behind the yard we had put so much love and effort into maintaining. We knew we couldn’t take everything with us, but there was no way we were leaving that sedum behind.
returned to its old garbage pail home, we drove across the valley to South Jordan and placed it on the back yard patio. Again, the sedum showed its fortitude by surviving another two winters and a full summer in a confined space. Once our landscaping was complete, we placed the sedum in a prime location.
Now, each morning when I take the dog outside (or each afternoon and evening), I see it, waving in the (never ending) wind, like it is saying hello to me. It is a connection to my past, a marker for a future. It is a reminder, one that changes in meaning as time passes.