My cookie jar is a world. A fairyland with turquoise and chartreuse sands, baby ferns, and in pride of an emerald tailed mermaid. I wanted a rainy day project for my children. The boys and I made terrariums on the generous dining room table. They died. A row of glass shrouds snaked the ikea blonde wood.
Next came the parsonage window sill. The days of rainy day activities gone. Looking for whimsy during the pandemic, I popped out the carcasses and popped in begonias, then a few jades, then a wandering Jew. Each died. I would lift the lid with hope. Only the mermaid figurine remained, queen of the dead.
New house, perhaps our last house, I tried again. A layer of charcoal, a layer of smooth stones, fresh soil sifted through my fingers. This time I added plants ideal for terrariums and already skittering towards the mortal coil. I expected nothing but the enjoyment of making. Adding a handful of pretty shells and colorful beads, I tucked in my shopworn siren and let nature run its course. Now, I collect succulents. Cheek to jowl, baby toes and ogre’s ears, redheaded Irishman and Eve’s needle jockey for sun in every window. Among the spikes and the velvety plumpness, a tropical miniscape of verdant moss, sensuous orchids, and fuchsia polka dots thrives, a world in a cookie jar.