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.


Kelly Hashway said...

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

Johnell said...

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

Karen Jones Gowen said...

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.

Tina Cho said...

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

Vijaya said...

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 :)

Hava Rembrand said...

Kant would agree about our senses!

Mirka Breen said...

Can't disagree with Kant, can we?

theartofpuro said...

Great post :)

Dionna said...

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.

Yanting Gueh said...

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!