Moonflower

Last night wasn’t the full moon — that was the previous night, August 11th — but it might as well have been. Not only did the moon look full, it acted full. Or maybe I should say it acted on me as if it were full because I had a rough time falling asleep. (Apparently, I am subject to some sort of full-moon insomnia.) Luckily, this afternoon I had nothing planned except to read, so when I dozed off with a book in my hand, it wasn’t a problem. What was a problem is that when I awoke, I felt disoriented, not knowing day or time or what I was doing.

The disorientation lasted only a moment. By the time I got my eyes pried open and dragged myself away from the uneasiness dreaming always causes me, I was fine.

As for last night, when I couldn’t sleep, I went outside to look at my moonflower in the moonlight. It was too dark to take a decent picture, so I was glad to find the plant still blooming when I got up this morning. It faded quickly in the bright sun, but luckily, I now have a pictorial memory of the flower, though I might not need such a visual memory because it seems as if there are several more buds that will be opening in the coming evenings, so I will have the real thing.

Moonflowers are a perennial subtropical plant. In colder climes, like this one, it’s an annual, but because of its self-seeding nature, it acts as a perennial. The plants grow readily and quickly, and if the flowers aren’t lopped off, the seeds in their prickly casing can be easily harvested to grow more plants. Or to keep the existing plant from taking over since it has a weed-like nature (probably why I can grow it so easily).

Moonflowers are members of the nightshade family and, as you can probably tell by the trumpet-like shape of the flower, are kin to morning glories. “Moonflower” is rather a romantic name, but the plant’s other names are enough to make a person shudder (or, if ingested in great enough quantities, make a person hallucinogenic and maybe even dead): datura, jimsonweed, thornapples, devil’s weed, devil’s trumpets, hell’s bells.

Now that I know all those names, I remember doing this same research when I lived near the desert because datura grew as weed around there. Since this climate is similar to that one, I need to be careful so this plant doesn’t become invasive. Still, it’s a beautiful flower, and as long as I can control it (though my ability to control anything in my yard remains dubious), it makes a pleasing addition to my garden, even when the moon isn’t full.

***

What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

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