The last few days have been the hardest, after ten days of packing both apartment and studio, but this morning, well, just before noon, Betsy made her way out of Brooklyn, in our van, via the tunnel, up the West Side Highway, which hardly lives up to its name, to the GW Bridge, and then on to I80 westward.
In the back of the van are various items that cannot or should not freeze, things that, along with the cat, Betsy must haul into a roadside motel. Among these are three houseplants -a Norfolk Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), a Pothos or Philodendron (Epipremnum aureum), and a purple Oxalis (Oxalis triangularis). These have been with us so long that I often confuse their origins. The pine may have been a gift, the Pothos possibly a specimen from my greenhouse project at Socrates Sculpture Park, and the Oxalis a yard plant bought when I was living in New Mexico. All three should survive the move, after all, they've survived considerable neglect in our apartment, but I do think the Norfolk Pine will suffer under the unrelenting low humidity of the Minnesota house. I am no daily mister, so maybe a spot in the bathroom will suffice?
Several days ago I clipped the Pothos so that it, along with two other plants, can be easily moved between van and motel in an old plastic laundry basket. When I slid the white-stained terra cotta pot from its roost of a dozen years, I was surprised to find that the vine, above, was not rooted in any soil at all! It was and is still rooted only to the painted wall. Is it gleaning moisture from the air, the walls, the paint, or is it not in need because it has entered winter dormancy, a time of exceptional drought tolerance?
I would leave it there, for the next tenants, if I had half the belief that the landlord would appreciate its tenacity. Instead, I will pry this talisman from the wall paint and carry it along.