I Shutter When I See You: A Place of Love

a place of love


“Dear Wonderful Person,

Please take care of this succulent, it came from a place of love and fond memories. I hope you can enjoy this plant as much as I have.

– Previous Owner ♥”

On the corner of Haight St and Clayton St.

I was buried in my phone, as usual, checking to see how long it would be until my bus arrived. I saw her out of the corner of my eye. I would not have seen anything if she had not done a double-step and jerked back to the corner, instead of passing me entirely. She placed this package of life on the uneven pavement, letting it be perfectly offset by the natural art behind it, and took a couple steps around the corner. She had my full attention now, though I tried to be discreet. I watched as she stared at the plant for a couple seconds. It looked like she was willing herself to move away from this little piece of her heart, instead of grabbing it and placing it somewhere else or taking it home with her again. I guess she decided she had made the right decision as she turned slowly and headed out of my view, her black, high-waisted skirt swishing behind her, Doc Martens treading the pavement.

It seemed like this little plant was meant for me. Once I read the note, I picked him up immediately. He travelled home on the packed bus with me, threatening to spray soil and water across my shoes every time the driver braked.

He is a reminder of the complex lives that weave with ours as we walk through the city, as we sit down for tea, as we wait for the bus.


New Place


A New Place


This succulent, which I have christened Fred, sits in my room, overlooking my garden. He is a bit droopy and a few of his leaves are a little black, but Previous Owner, that was due to the slight overwatering you gave him before setting him loose. I am taking care of him.

I have big plans for him.

Fred will be well kept during the first months of summer, given sun, water and a breath of fresh air once in a while – all a plant could want. When August comes he must prepare for the biggest trip of his life (and the biggest road trip of mine). Despite the rules in my college dorms, he will be escorted from San Francisco to New York State and a tiny dorm room filled by three theater-obsessed youngsters who are ready to learn and love and live.

Previous Owner, I know I will enjoy this succulent as much as you have. He will be my little stranger, here to remind me of a place of fond memories. Most of all, I plan to make new memories with him.

Now, before I get too sentimental (too late), adieu.


While this was a departure from my usual work here, I thought it would be a nice way to finish up the work I have done with SMW.

If you would like to keep up with my work/life, here are links galore:

Flickr: here

365: here

Instagram: here

Tumblr: here


– ♥ Previous Owner


Words and photographs by Miranda Hollingswood

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