15 AprRequiescat In Pace, Steve

I’ve thought of him frequently in the last year. He died last night around 6pm of pneumonia complications. He was a botanist, hardcore pagan, hardcore bicyclist. Around 6pm last night as I was leaving work, I was suddenly enveloped in the most amazing floral scent, then as quickly as it came, it disappeared. I thought maybe it was the flower shop, but no, the shop smelled faintly damp & earthy & not at all sweet and floral last night. I also saw a unicyclist commuting on my way home. I don’t know what that synchronizes to, but it made me happy and very sad all at once.

I remember he had sweet snakes and the most amazing wall of orchids I’ve ever seen, still. It seems like there must have been hundreds of them. I started trying to keep orchids this past year (just the easily available, relatively inexpensive ones), I even got one to start new little buds up the flowering stalk (while the main plant got sadder & sadder), but I’m far from mastering it yet & I keep doing something wrong & they slip through my fingers. I haven’t had the nerve yet to try again & it may be some more time yet before I try again now… or maybe not. I just hate knowing I’m doing something wrong, but not knowing what (probably multiple things on both sides of too wet, too dry, too much attention, too much attempted benign neglect)…

And of course then I remember jumping over bonfires & poking geoducks & full moon walks & so much more. His passion for *being* and loving whole-y left a deep impression on my college self that has really stuck with me all these years. He’s one of my very favorite Greenmen *ever*. I may not be able to keep orchids alive but I had black pansies All Summer Long last year & I intend to again this summer. My first black pansies were from him, of course. OH! And I have a little lemon plant. Because it lives inside right now (winter & all), I’ve been hand pollinating the flowers. Yes! That’s right. I’ve been helping flowers fuck! He always said, “I think it’s really quite appropriate yet strange that we express love by tearing the sexual organs from plants and presenting one another with them.” I have a bunch of sweet little green lemons growing. And of course every time I help the flowers fuck, I think of him too, because how can one not? :) I always think of him when I hear Crazy Man Michael by Fairport Convention, too.

Michael he whistles the simplest of tunes
And asks the wild wolves their pardon
For his true love has flown into every flower grown
And he must be keeper of the garden

And now the keeper of the garden has flown too.

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