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Where The Dead Fern Grows

A dead fern in a pot that's sitting on an office desk.

This is one of those blogs that I felt I had to write. Not because it’s worth writing about, but because I accidentally had the idea and couldn’t get rid of it. If you’re here for theological reflections today, I must caution you that this is not your week. If you are here for insight, I regret to inform you that you must go elsewhere. If you are here for a coherence, I leave you to be the judge but ask that you don’t blame me. If you are here for a weird conceptual blog post that probably was best left on the cutting room floor, then BOY HAVE I GOT GOOD NEWS FOR YOU! Hat tip to Jane V for the brilliant title!


Here lies Fern2024-2024. We dreamed of greener days. We awoke too soon.

I like ferns. I like them a lot. They’re probably my favorite non-flowering, part-shade, decorative plant. So imagine my joy when I found a fern that I could call my very own. I potted it myself.

And yet…

And yet…

In remembrance: To my dear sweet fern, resting now in the dirt that once gave you life, I am sorry. Had I but known your need for moisture, then the world may be different now. Alas, I learned too late. My desperate over-watering was a futile gesture, hoping against hope that it might provide you with the sustenance I had denied you. Now you sit, withered and dead.

Ever since I was a lad, I had a dream of owning a fern. Never could I realize this dream, owing to the fact that my cat would eat you and get sick. I brought you to my office and spoke lovingly of you. All those who came to visit were informed of your beauty and promise.

I had such hopes for you, and I’m sorry you were never able to realize them. There was a day in which I could envisage you sitting on the floor, resplendent in your new pot, as bushy as my beard. I set you on a path for success, but then I let the path grow arid.

You never even produced spores. I don’t really know what would have happened when you did, because I never took the time to read about it. Had I the foresight to understand your reproductive habits, then perhaps I would have understood that you needed more water than my succulent. Now you will never be able to be proud of your small ferns, as I was proud of you.

Your pot is empty, just like my heart. You were irreplaceable, yet I soldier on as you would have wanted me to. I’ve learned from you and will forever be grateful for those lessons. When I next pot a plant, I will make sure that it does not need as much water. I might just get a fake plant. Whatever I do, I’ll name it Fern.

You will be long remembered by your friends: Snakeplant, Pothos, and unidentified succulent. Their memories will be long and lasting, because they don’t need as much water and I probably won’t kill them.

Rest in Peat,

Rev. Jeff Fox-Kline


If you're looking for a vibrant church and congregation in the Brighton, NY area, we welcome you to visit us! Our worship service starts at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday and all are welcome! Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church is located at 1200 S. Winton Road in Rochester, NY. If you're unable to join in person, that's okay. You can also join our livestream on YouTube or visit our Facebook page. If you have any questions, call our office at 585-244-8585 or email us using our secure contact form.



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