This is a short story about Zsolt’s heroic pepper plant.
We have been waiting and waiting to grow peppers. We have a very special variety of yellow peppers that are quite sweet and refreshing, and remind us of Hungary. So, it all started back in March. After so much delay, we finally found some little seedling planters and the big man planted the seeds. Except he didn’t quite plant them . . . he more or less flooded them. The instructions read “sprinkle with water,” and instead he “poured a jug of water” over the whole thing.
For weeks we waited. I kept saying, “throw ‘em out and replant the seeds. We’ve drown them.”
But Zsolt had faith.
Then one day they began to sprout. One after the other, after the other! This was a miracle unto itself. And so Zsolt tended the plants, very carefully watering them, leaving them on the radiator, moving them into the sun.
One particular shoot was doing really well. It was the one you’d point to and think, “yep, it’s coming along.”
Except one day, after having left the plants outside to toughen up (Z is always trying to make them really tough, for some reason), our prize pepper plant somehow broke right in half.
Disappointment was felt. No way would a plant recover from such a bad break.
The next day, Z put the seedlings back outside, including the broken plant since they were all in one big seedling plastic thing. (I should win a prize for that amazing bit of description, eh?) They stayed out all day long, and then in the evening we brought them inside.
Lo and behold! The little broken pepper plant had fixed itself! Right where the bit had broken, there was a sort of swollen area, and the plant was fixed far more upward than it had been earlier.
The next day, it stood even taller.
And the next day, even taller.
Now that really felt like a miracle. Just when we had counted it out – the little guy proved its resilience and stood back up!
And now, way over in August, it has the biggest pepper of them all. Okay, sure, the peppers are all little and have a ways to grow – but it’s our resilient plant that is leading the charge!
Zsolt calls that plant his little hero. I think the meaning of this scenario goes way, way further than simply growing a plant. Obviously. Do I need to explain it? Probably not, I think.
That little paprika pepper means a lot to us. And when the day comes that we get to actually eat the pepper, I plan to make an entire meal around it – potato layer with sour cabbage on the side, maybe even a little wine, and some wonderful Liszt in the background while we eat.
Sometimes the little stories make the biggest different. This is one of those times.