As fall settles in, this collection revisits Maddie and her work as a botanical engineer. In this tale, she struggles with her current experiments, and is unable to come up with a solution to the stagnant growth of her plants. Her methodical, overly analytical ways are what hampers the research progress.

Perhaps the message she found can bring her some solace.


bottle's narration

Months have passed since Maddie picked me up from the sea shore. I have been a patient observer. Her life is a comforting steady constant. Each sunrise, she wakes. Each morning, she brews a pot of dark, consumed without added condiments. Each afternoon, she tends to her plants and experiments. Each evening, she retires with her book.


bottle's narration

The most evident constant in her life is a frown stamped on her forehead. Even when the sun shines with might and vigor, I have yet to see a smile appear on Maddie’s fair complexion.

Worried for the struggling plants living in her abode, her eyes are often void of joy and heavy with anxiety.


bottle's narration

After breakfast, she would set off on her morning stroll around the greenhouse. Sometimes she would take me along, filling me up with nature’s own souvenirs. Those moments became occasions that broke free from her strict routine. At times it could be the discovery of a precious, rare rock. Or a fallen golden leaf. Or a strained flower she takes home to heal.

Nature has its way to deliver surprises.


maddie's narration

The study of plants is vital because they underpin all animal life on Earth by generating the oxygen and the chemical energy humans and other organisms need to exist. As a botanical engineer, a part of nature’s family on this bountiful planet, we must do our job to protect our environment.

Not a day passes by where the natural world does not amaze me. Each small bit I dissect in turn reveals more questions mankind can solve. Every step produces new mystery.


maddie's narration

Yet it has been 108 days since the induction of my latest experiment — the development of a new floral family. Maturation has been slow. Progress perplexing. While caring for plants are best with an organic approach, just how many understand what it takes for healthy plants to grow?


bottle's narration

Maddie’s work gives me glimpses of the history of this world. Growth and evolutionary relationships are fascinating. The study of ancient plants and fossils reveals the vast nature of our existence. Despite the unending challenges each new research presents, she always lit up with each mystery solved. It is a process of immense reward.


maddie's narration

My approach must have been too analytical, too rigid — too stark. I should retrace my process, reimagine my methods, recreate and return to the start. It is time to exercise, and exercise the willingness to learn more about my work’s fundamental nature, purpose and essence to facilitate breakthroughs.


Life will always be a road of valleys and peaks — and we must not allow the dips to throw us off course.

Live life in bloom. That will be my message to pass on.