Yesterday evening as I walked home, I came across several broken twigs from a Jade Plant. They lay rather forlornly in a heap of wind-driven detritus, beneath their parent plant. I picked them up and took them home with me. After all, I love jade, and the plant is also known as the Money or Luck Tree. I need money, and I need luck, and these tough little succulents might just give me enough inspiration to get through life.
I walked home, clutching the shriveled little things, hoping they wouldn't somehow crumble into oblivion before I got home and managed to plonk them into some peat moss. Shuffling home down the darkened, quiet streets allowed me to meditate on my fortunes, the only escapes from my reverie coming as I greeted the neighborhood creatures that are my friends. Fella is a beautiful longhaired shepherd-type dog, a beautiful mutt rescued by an equally beautiful family. The cats are nameless semi-feral beasties, willing to sacrifice an iota of dignity for such delicacies I might offer, be it a gentle pet or a tidbit out of my leftovers.
Not all the cats are nameless, one holds the uncommon distinction of having a name attached to every house on my street. To some, he is Blackie, to some, Midnight. The gamblers amongst us call him Blackjack. I've heard him called Shadow, but to me he is Nikolai, my Niko-Niko-Evil-Kitty, a sly gentleman in sable. He comes and waits at the backdoor, he sleeps on my lawn furniture cushions. He thinks I am his, I know better to think he is mine. I go to check on the chickens and occasionally gift him with a fresh, raw egg, one with a cracked shell that we can't eat. I admit to stealing cans of tuna from the cupboard for him. He sneaks into the house with practiced ease, and I'll swear to his laughing when he is chased out.
Niko is a symbol of making luck. He is a black cat, traditionally a source of niggling worry to the quaintly superstitious. He is lucky. Everybody feeds him, everybody loves him in his aloofness. I took it as a good omen when he showed especial interest in my Jade Plant refugees. As I type, Niko is probably asleep on the outdoor wicker sofa, and the Jade cuttings are beginning to show some sign of perking up.
My luck is what I make of it, it's true. I find the discarded, the forgotten, and I tend to them. I hope that somebody finds and tends me in the same way. I want to know what it is to thrive. I want to have the fortune of jade, not to be jaded. I wonder how and when my chance will come.