A Sense of Belonging

 

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A Sense of Belonging‘ by Sonja P.

 

Every year, same place, same time, same feeling.

Every year there is a sense of anxiety unlike any other,

A need to perform perfectly,

A need to prove oneself.

 

As I perform my piece, it is never quite as I had hoped,

But always good enough.

For every year there is a sense of anxiety unlike any other,

A need to perform perfectly,

A need to prove oneself.

 

For as I leave the stage, and return to my seat,

The anxiety is not gone.

But lurks, and dances under the internal moonlit waves.

A need to be on,

A need to be spectacular.

 

But as I stand aside, and watch my peers taking a picture without me in my final year,

It is my utter realization that the anxiety was not performance based.

No.

It was the sense of never belonging.

My One Real Regret

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There are many things that I regret, though I would never explicitly say it, nor admit it. Regrets as simple as singing the wrong piece in a vocal competition, to eating too much cheese at a friend’s house party. Generally, however my regrets have been small, and non-important in the long run, mostly comprising of small regrets that wouldn’t have really mattered if I did what I wanted to do, or should have done during that time frame.

I feel very fortunate to have a family that loves me, friends that care, and a life that I believe is worth living. With this said, there is one, and only one event that I regret, and deeply regret, and was caused by my own insecurities, and my ability to overthink, and overanalyze events that future were far from there.

The story begins, and ends in grade 8, middle school. I met this guy, let’s call him M, through my extracurricular activates, which so happened to be my favourite activity in the world; the school musical. Though I do admit that it wasn’t love at first sight, I slowly but surely noticed him, and that is saying a lot, for I normally have my head in the clouds. He was friendly, kind, and overall a gentleman, and I actually took counsel from some of my younger musical friends, to ask him to the school dance.

That school dance, was the best time I had ever had at a dance before, and still to this day, tops every social party event I have ever been to.

We ended up going out, and though still to this day I don’t like to admit, that we were dating, I smile to myself at the ignorance I had and still have when reminded of these events. M was kind caring and compassionate, he made me feel comfortable in my own skin, and best of all, spending time with him, took my head out of the clouds, and I was for once grounded in the now and the present.

Fast forward several months of dating, the school musical was soon to end, if not had already ended and I, being full of self-doubt and over thinking started to consider the what ifs and the future, knowing we were not going to the same high school. Long story short, through all the inner turmoil, I broke up with him, telling myself it would be the best for the both of us.

In hind sight I should have just left it at that, but deep down I really liked M, and wanted to be around him, so being the selfish person I was, over the beginning of my high school years stayed in contact with him, which I now realize was a crude way of leading him on to a relationship, that I wanted, but wouldn’t let myself have.

I distinctly remember telling M, near the end of our time we spent together during high school, that I felt that I didn’t really know him.

But time is fair, in this kind of way, for as if the countless nights of thinking about these terrible decisions I had made, and cruel and thoughtless things I had said, were not enough, the tables turned in my final year of high school. I was good friends with a guy, let’s call him A, and well I had a massive crush on him, but he led me on, and it was at the end of the year when I talked to him face to face when I realized that he actually did not know me, and everything I had told him, had never been truly heard. It was then, when I truly realized through my own pain, what I have done to have wrong M, and how I was so unfair.

But time is kind, in a sense for though, some attempted conversations with M had led nowhere, his kindness still prevails, and I think to myself, how lucky any woman would be to be in a relationship with him. For kindness is too often overlooked, and pain is too often remembered.

If there is anything I have learned from my one real regret, it would be to appreciate what you have in relationships and friendships that you have. Don’t overthink, and just enjoy your moment on the ground and feeling present, in a world that many, including I would sometimes like to escape.

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

 

Real

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‘Real’ by Sonja P.

 

What makes someone real? Is it their tangibility? Or their presence that can be felt across a crashing sea? Is it their voice, their eyes, their smile? Or is it their tangibility? Their presence, that can be felt across a crashing sea?

What makes someone real?

 

For I know that I am Real. I see myself, I know I exist, I laugh and breath like anyone else, but there is so much more than tangibility; the physical extremities, that make a person real.

What makes someone real?

 

Reality is not when you can see a person, but it is when you can stare into a person’s eyes and you can see, them. Not their clothes, their hair, their, looks. But you can see their souls. Their raw selves that they constantly shelter from the icy world.

What makes you real?

 

For you are not a fake, a fraud, nor just a passenger in today’s life. You are as real as the air we breathe, and as pure as the crystal waters that come from the freshest springs.

Do not hide your reality,

For reality, is you.

 

Clouded Skies

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“Clouded Skies” by: Sonja P.

 

Even on the brightest days, there can be no sun.

Clouded by wisps of unspoken tales, and unforgotten memories,

It is hard to decipher why the clouds hang so low in the sky when you can still see light.

All appears well, fine, for even the onlookers view your world as an ecosystem of an abundance of sunshine, on a cloudy day.

 

These clouds, appear as only a shift in the mood, and as the winds blow through any given world, change must follow.

But for you, the clouds do not leave, for they have taken permanent residence,

And you are left to soak in the sun, through clouded skies.

 

There is still light, for you can see the truths, that stretch beyond the skies, and tickle the sun,

But there is also darkness, that shadows my given world, at any speaking moment.

 

But it is bright out, and to others the shadows of low wisped cotton appear as a much-needed relief from the blazing sun.

But you yearn for the sun.

 

You yearn for the clouds to be lifted.

For though there is light, this is not an acclamation that darkness is not present.

 

Tips, Tricks, References, & Info About Growing Lemon Trees from Seed (A Debunking of myths)

**Today’s post is going to be a little different than my usual posts, because it’s going to involve a gardening, education related direction**

*This post is not intended to be a guide on sowing lemon/citrus trees, more so as tips and tricks to enhance the probability of success in growth and health rate. If you are looking for a sowing guide, at the bottom of this post there is a reference guide where you can click on a site that goes through a step by step process on sowing lemon seeds.*

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I have always loved citrus, and though I don’t know exactly when this passion began, but I can assume it began sometime during my young childhood in midwinter when my mother would by clementine’s and my sisters and I would sit around our kitchen table and gorge ourselves.

Growing up in Canada, citrus was only cheap (affordable) during mid winter. So I was lucky that when I was having a food shortage when I was in residence at University that it was during the time where oranges where in season and dirt cheap! For several weeks my diet was comprised of only oranges from the local Sobeys.

During high school I was often referred to as Lemon Girl, so it was no surprise when I told my friends that I was growing lemon trees from seed. It was also no surprise to my friends, when they were curious about my then 12 lemon seedings where dying off.

I learned a lot about lemon trees, how they grow, what to do, what not to do, and have sent a lot of sad trees to citrus heaven. Nonetheless I have comprised a list of information, references and helpful info that may help you on your journey with the success on your lemon tree gardening, now let’s begin!\


Tip #1

Save yourself some grief, and purchase organic lemon seeds, or if you needed to buy lemons from the supermarket (like I did) purchase organic ones.

 

Long story short, the commercial lemon seeds from commercial lemons don’t produce healthy sprouts, they are generally unhealthy at birth, they don’t grow… like at all. Just don’t do it. Spend a little money and but organic lemons and plant their seeds, you will actually have about 60%-90% growth rate from all seeds planted.


Tip #2

Fertilizer. Don’t use it unless you know what you are doing. I know this is common sense, but it’s crazy how much information there is on the internet about what types of N:P:K ratios (the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium ratio) in fertilizer. I have heard things from getting specially formulated citrus food, (that is super expensive and still in my closet from 6 years ago) from to a certain ‘special’ ratio that is impossible to find or things from 20-20-20 to rose fertilizer.

Here’s a trick. It doesn’t matter what you feed your lemon tree, as long as you feed the tree as directed from the packaging. Of course don’t go buying any random fertilizer that is dirt cheap or sketchy and you question why this is in the dollar store, but what I am trying to say is that all those things on lemon forums, articles, and so forth you can use any of them. Just pick one. Of course some are more specialized than others, but in reality if that’s the only thing your plant has ever known and you haven’t over fertilized it or screwed up in other ways (like I did, oh so many times) your lemon tree will be completely fine. (Again please use common sense when fertilizing).


Tip #3

Pruning. When people prune plants for a certain aesthetic reasons, generally they just snip off what they want. You can do it that way, but there is a better way. It’s called directional pruning (tutorial/guide in references) and it’s basically pruning the branches a certain way to promote future growth in the desired direction. It’s pretty neat and it does work. It is a bonsai tip, but nonetheless extremely useful.


Tip #5

Your lemon tree can be trained as a bonsai tree. If your lemon tree is just a short stubby thing (like mine) you can turn it into a bonsai tree. It takes a bit of effort and time but is a very rewarding hobby. (link below)


Tip #5

Water. Do NOT overwater your trees! They do not like it. They will get angry. And they will revolt! (or they will just be limp and slowly die). Just don’t do it.

A good tip is do not water in a schedule, because different factors affect the moisture content in the pot. For example if it is hot inside/outside the plant will use more water and will need to be water more frequently then when it is a cool day and the moisture is not absorbed by neither plant nor sun. It is better to get used to the feeling of the soil with your hands or using a moisture detector to decide when to and when to not water. Also, citrus trees prefer deep waterings, so when you do water the tree/plant make sure there is a hole at the bottom of the pot and water until the water comes out of the bottom of the pot, let it drain, then dump the excess water and let the plant dry out between waterings.


Tip #6

Open soil and water attract fungus gnats, and once they come they do not leave. More on them below but in short they lay eggs in the overly moist soil and the larvae eat your plants delicate roots. Just avoid them completely and stay clean and don’t overwater. It takes a while to attract them, but if it’s been for a couple of weeks to a few months I would clean up the mess before the little buggers come.


Tip #7

Most citrus seeds are polyembyonic (list of which are and which aren’t below in link) and this basically means that there are 2 or more plants that grow out of the one seed. One will grow true from seed the others would be a hybrid. (ie one will be identical to the parent, the other will not, and probably will not even produce fruit). It’s good to see which citrus trees you grow are polyembryonic, unless you are okay with a citrus tree that when you rub it smells like lemon, but never produces fruit.


Tip #8

When you have a polyembryonic seed, thus 2 or more seedlings from the one seed there is this confusion about whether the one that grows first is the lemon seed identical to the parent or it is the lemon seedling coming later (because the polyembroyonic seedlings do not grow at the same time, and the second seedling is generally weaker). I’ve read a lot of discussions, mostly heated about who is right and who is wrong. Currently there are people who kill one of the 2 (or more) seedlings to let the true from seed grow strong and healthy, but there is this argument about which ones to kill. Some people say that it is the first and strongest growth, others say it is the weakest, etc. Truth is, the seedling true to seed could be either of them, it all depends on how the lemon flower was pollinated.

According to a study (linked below) The authors suggest that when a lemon flower is open pollinated (meaning is left outside and the pollination is via bees, birds, wind, etc) that the zygotic (a seed/embryo that has both female and male gametes) embryo is a hybrid (a seed/embryo that has different gametes not both from the same flower [for one flower has male and female parts] thus pollinated from 2 different flowers), it may be more vigorous, and hence compete better with nucellular (true from seed) embryos. However when the zygotic embryo is not a hybrid (ie fertilized itself in single flower) the rigorous growth would be the nucellular embryo. The end conclusion is that there is no physiological way to tell the true from seed and hybrid apart.

So in summary keep all embryonic seeds, label them if they are pairs or multiples and wait, for you cannot tell unless they have a trifoliate leaf (a leaf with 3 points vs 1) or when it produces fruit.


Final Tip #9

It can take anywhere from 4 months to 60+ years for your lemon tree to produce fruit. It is generally said that lemon trees grown from seeds van be expected to fruit by the 10-20 year mark. But some grow sooner, others later, some not at all. It’s a waiting game, and can be frustrating, so my tip to you, just keep growing them. Keep sowing them every spring/summer, you’ll eventually get when that produces a real lemon, and they can make great gifts!


In conclusion, as you can tell from my tips I am a lemon nerd, but I’m okay with that. I have a couple more tips but this post is already long enough, so maybe another time. If you have any questions please leave a comment below and I’d be happy to answer as best as I can. I’m no professional but I definitely have learned a lot so far!

Thanks for joining,

Sincerely,

Sonja P.

 

Online References:

Personal Favorite Lemon Seed Planting Instruction:

https://growingwildceeds.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/how-to-grow-a-lemon-tree-from-seed/

Fungus Gnat Guide:

https://www.planetnatural.com/pest-problem-solver/houseplant-pests/fungus-gnat-control/

Types of polyembryonic Citrus seeds:

http://redwoodbarn.com/PDF/Whichcitrusfromseed.pdf

Polyembryony and identification of Volkamerian lemon zygotic and nucellar seedlings using RAPD

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0100-204X2004000600006

Youtube channel Nigel Saunder, guide to bonsai lemon tree care and pruning (directional/clip and grow)

 

Book References: (Get them on amazon vs chapters… it’s cheaper. The only reason why I list the Chapters site is because that’s where I got my books)

A good Lemon and Citrus General Care and Maintenance Book

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/growing-citrus-the-essential-gardeners/9780881929065-item.html?ikwid=growing+citrus&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=6

What’s Wrong with my Plant and How to Fix it (Reference book)

https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/whats-wrong-with-my-plant/9780881929614-item.html?ikwid=whats+wrong+with+my+plant&ikwsec=Home&ikwidx=0

Double Standard

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“Double Standard” By: Sonja P.

 

Why use words when your words mean nothing?

I hear what you said, I read what you said, I spoke what I said,

And yet your words mean nothing.

 

You blossom in a society,

A society where words speak of lies and false comforts,

And where truth is no longer spoken.

 

Lucky that’s where we live.

Lucky that we live in a world where discrimination is hidden behind hate,

Fortunate that you are comfortable.

 

Double Standard

When your words mean nothing and you speak nothing of lies,

Thus there is only truth in lies and only lies in truth.