Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Mystery of Simultaneous Blooming

The other day I looked with glee at my gardening handiwork. My trimming and legendary weeding left a nice neat line, edging the green plants in my yard.

Only a week later I passed by, distracted by the weight of grocery bags as I huffed up the stairs, when—what happened?—my lovely line of just-trimmed ivy looked like a child in need of a haircut whose hair was just ruffled by an adoring uncle. Branches were sticking up in all directions in an unruly dance. I couldn’t believe it.

I swear, this maniacal sprouting happened overnight. 
And it wasn't just one kind of plant; this contrarian response to my gardening was orchestrated by a few adjacent plant species, no doubt in sympathy with the ivy. My greens had unionized, it seemed.
^Not me— just a mammoth hedge and its trimmer


It reminded me of the mystery of Cereus greggii, a plant specie that flowers only one night a year all over Arizona, always simultaneously.
I thought about the attempted scientific explanation regarding chemical reactions and what not. But even scientists admit they don't quite have it.
Then I thought about how cultural phenomena that sprout with seeming coordination in distant parts of the globe are also explained, even as we don’t really have a handle on why.

Some months back, writers on my favorite kid-lit forum, chimed in about our works-in-progress. (WIP in writers’ speak.) Somehow it turned out that a whole host of us were writing time-travel middle grade novels set in the same state, South Carolina. It was eerie.
I did suggest some of us might move one state over. I mean, there are other states, Virginia. But no one was budging. Each of our stories had to be there.

Years from now, assuming a simultaneous publication of even a tenth of our body of work, (one can hope) it will be explained by cultural commentators somehow. But we, who lived it, know better. There is no rational explanation.


 I have experienced this mysterious phenomenon before. An idea I thought original, sprouted from others with whom I have had no communication. They didn’t steal my idea, and I know with certitude I didn’t steal or even borrow from anyone. It’s that Cereus Greggii thing, just happening in a different sphere.

Simultaneity. To me it is as close to proof that our five senses barely scratch what is real.

This is what I'm contemplating as I trim the front yard plants to make a nice neat hedge, again.

10 comments:

  1. It is a strange phenomenon, but I've witnessed it too. Kind of cool, I think.

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  2. Cool post. I've never heard of that plant. Now I'm curious. Thanks.

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  3. And then there's Guatemala where seeds bloom into flowers, trees, whatnot during the rainy season, sometimes in the ideal location. I thank the birds for this.

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  4. I'd love to see pics of your garden! Interesting post and yes,a little eerie! (but fun)

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  5. That's a wicked hedge. Hey, I'm one of those Carolinians ... I think some ideas are ripe for the picking. Alas, I'm busy revising so the time travel book has to wait :)

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  6. I remember the SC Simultaneity when it bloomed on the BB! Very weird! I couldn't believe it! But what a nice analogy here of those gorgeous flowers blooming at once. It's a pretty phenomenon, right? I guess it's humbling too, to realize none of us come up with something truly unique.

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  7. I once thought up of a magical scene about one of my characters and was so proud of it. That synopsis was for a course work and the story hasn't been written even till now. Years after I'd submitted that synopsis, I saw the magical scene (exactly what I'd thought of) in a Studio Ghibli animation, one that was produced about ten years ago that I hadn't ever watched. My Goodness, I experienced such a complex moment!

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