For almost 2 weeks now -- ever since I read Gayla's writing prompt -- I'd been wanting to respond to it. But I had my doubts, and still do. Am I recalling the distant memory of my first plant? Or am I remembering a childhood dream? Most of the details -- except colour, location & the identity of the person kneeling beside me -- are vague and dream-like. Yet, I've replayed the scene in my mind many times over the years and can't shake it (much like an earworm). And since the second writing prompt is coming tomorrow, I'll stop procrastinating and tell my very short story now.
Yellow flowers in an old, white-painted tractor tire next to the garage: these were my first plants. I think I was about 4 or 5 years old. The memory (or dream) has a definite pre-school feeling to it. I was proud to be allowed to help Mom with a grown-up task. We carefully placed the flowers with the cheerful faces in the holes we had created with our trowels, then firmed soil over the roots. "Pansies," Mom said in response to my question.
After that mother-daughter gardening session, I don't recall helping with daily watering or weeding so those particular pansies may have been under my care only momentarily. But other versions of them as well as violas have been regularly appearing in gardens I've tended over the years.
When I inherited my community plot in Spring 2011, it was badly overgrown and tangled with weeds and neglected plants. I removed everything, except these yellow pansies, which cheerfully welcomed me to my new garden home and connected me with my first (remembered) plant.
After typing the final period and now just before hitting publish, I will say again I don't know if this is memory or dream...but perhaps it doesn't matter.