People of Mexico


Esperanza y Daniela

I never understood why she was staring at me like that. She had spent the whole week  senselessly moving plants and pots from one place to another. She transplanted them repeatedly like they were never in the right spot.  She would tear off a piece and then re-sow it. She was never afraid of spiders or worms. She would bury her fingers in the ground with the only hope of not encountering the "surra" of a cat. Yes, cats were the worst enemies of my grandmother and her fondness for plants.

My grandmother had suffered a heart attack that summer (you know, life worries, 10 children, 36 grandchildren) and she had stayed at my mother's house while recovering. We lived on the outskirts of the city, so going to visit my grandmother at our house became quite a trip for her relatives.  Therefore, my grandmother spent much of her recovery in isolation - transplanting our home garden.

The funny thing is that she had an exotic taste for plants that did not produce flowers. Who wants a plant that never blooms? She did.  She patiently sowed and watered those short sticks, jealously guarding them from our beloved cats. Shuuuuu shuuuuu - she would scare the cats away. Time passed and the plants began to grow, strong and full. The planter that had been so carefully transplanted, finally after a year, began to thicken the earth with colors. The miracle of perseverance and dedication left behind the deformed branches. Hope helped conquer time and disease. My grandmother was happy admiring the results.

One morning, while my sister and I were playing in the garden, we discovered that Grandma's plants, those she had planted and guarded while recovering at home, had flowered, and …… mutated to become plants? Carnivorous? They had mouths! Yes, those plants ate bugs. Grandma had planted hairy, not very good-looking plants, and the planter was full of them.

Invasion of the Stapelias! They opened during the day and closed during the night. When my grandmother was feeling well recovered and ready to leave our home, we decided to make her a bouquet of Stapelias. I still do not understand why she made that face if she liked them so much.

My love for plants, painting plants, and enjoying them was a direct influence from my Grandmother Esperanza (Hope). 

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